Free CPR training to students

Do you know CPR and would you be willing to perform it in the case of an emergency?

As a paramedic, Roy Shaw discovered that 90 percent of the people who called in to the dispatch center said they didn’t know how to perform CPR or didn’t want to get involved out of fear they might do it incorrectly.

That’s a frightening statistic when you consider that 80 percent of the 300,000 people who experience cardiac arrest each year are at home, work, or somewhere other than a hospital. Only 25 percent of these people end up receiving CPR, causing many to die when receiving CPR could have doubled or tripled their chance of survival.

Shaw noticed that younger people were much more likely to try performing CPR or first aid and that’s why he developed the Student CPR program. This online training course is offered to students in area high schools and some middle schools, and unlike other programs that cost the school money or require a lot of time, the Student CPR online program takes less than a few hours and it’s free.

Student CPR is a part of the ProTrainings e-learning programs. The company developed one of the first Internet-based CPR programs in 2003 and currently offers CPR and first aid certification, bloodborne pathogen training, and other health and safety courses.

The Student CPR online program, teaching both CPR and first aid training, is self-paced, flexible, easy to use, and technically efficient. Teachers and school administrators are provided with tools to monitor the students’ progress and test scores, and the added benefit of e-learning is that it saves on paper and gas costs.

Shaw says the online program is “absolutely the same as us being there” and he adds, “We’re a tech company -- this is what we do best.”

In addition to the free online training, a mannequin kit can be purchased for around $300. This optional hands-on component to the program provides training to teachers and school administrators on how to demonstrate CPR and evaluate the students on their progress. The students are then asked to attend approximately 3-4 hours of hands-on training, usually spread out over a few days throughout the week.

The mannequin kit includes an adult, child, and infant mannequin, including lungs, an automatic external defibrillator (AED) trainer, and one key ring.

After completing the online or hands-on training, students earn a two-year community CPR certification. They’re trained in adult, child, and infant CPR, AED use, choking prevention, bleeding control, handling shock, and more. Afterward, opt-in emails with short reminder videos are sent out weekly as well.

So far, in the two years since ProTrainings has offered the Student CPR training, there have been around 4,000 students trained and 57 schools that have implemented the program, with most opting for the blended, hands-on program.  

“We are fortunate enough to have patronage from paying customers to be able to spread this life-saving skill to those who might otherwise not be able to afford it,” says Shaw.

No one knows when CPR or first aid skills might be needed, but an overwhelming majority of students are willing to attempt rescue efforts, and even more so once they have the confidence that comes from training. Perhaps one day, everyone who calls an emergency dispatch center will know how to perform CPR and more lives will be saved as a result. To get your school involved or a student trained, here is some information:

-    Visit Student CPR online.
-    Tell a school about the program or volunteer for outreach efforts.
-    Donate to your local school so they can implement the hands-on program.
-    Like them on Facebook.
-    Follow @studentcpr on Twitter.

Sources: Roy Shaw, CEO and Co-founder of ProCPR and Student CPR, and Tyler Accardi, Director of Marketing and Student CPR Director
Writer: Heidi Stukkie, Do Good Editor

Images provided by ProCPR and Student CPR.
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