Red Cross Unveils Revised First Aid/CPR/AED Training

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 — The American Red Cross has revised its First Aid/CPR/AED program, making it more convenient for people to learn how to help someone in distress until advanced medical help arrives.

Man performing CPS
If more people learned hands-only CPR, we could increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest survival by putting more victims within a few steps of lifesaving assistance.

Highlights of the new program include a two-year certification and shorter, more interactive classes. A choice of course materials are available, including free online as well as affordable printed materials.

Participants will receive quarterly online refreshers, including quizzes and learning activities to help keep their skills as sharp as possible. The updated program includes the latest scientific updates and meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for first aid training.

“For someone in distress, receiving prompt first aid can save a life,” said David Markenson, M.D., first aid science advisor to the Red Cross. “This lifesaving assistance can increase the chances of someone surviving and recovering.”

The new program emphasizes hands-on learning. People will have many training options, including training at a Red Cross chapter or an organization’s own facility, taking classes online, or instruction from an authorized provider. Through its national account management system, the Red Cross makes it easy for a business with multiple locations across the country to offer consistent, high-quality training for its employees. Emphasis is on skill practice and performance. Optional written exams will be available to meet any state or industry requirements.

The Red Cross will continue to offer consumers a choice in their CPR training. Choices include the new hands-only “Citizen CPR” course, which uses chest compressions only, without mouth-to-mouth contact. This provides an opportunity for the untrained bystander to learn a simple skill that can save the life of someone in cardiac arrest. The Red Cross will continue to offer courses in full CPR using both compressions and rescue breaths. Full CPR prepares individuals to help in a wider range of emergencies and is the best option for infants and children, drowning victims, and people who collapse due to breathing problems.

In 2011, the Red Cross will work to educate 5 million people in hands-only CPR. As part of the initiative, the Red Cross is urging high schools to add hands-only training to their graduation curriculum and urging businesses to train 25 percent of their employees in the technique, in addition to those who need full CPR training because of their role as workplace responders.

Visit to see how you can get trained.

To donate to your local Red Cross visit

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


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