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Saturday, July 24, 2010

When and where do you learn CPR?

  1. If you need CPR certification for your employment, you need to take a CPR class in advance of the expiration of your certificate. The best place to do this is via the local Red Cross Chapter or a solid provider of American Heart Association Certification. In Chatham County, the pertinent contacts are Donna Dale 912.651.5313 at the Savannah Red Cross or Carol Crockett or Misty at Rescue Training, Inc. 912.692.8911. There are similar places across the country. (currently the right-hand side of the Red Cross site - - has a box into which you can type your zip code to find a Red Cross course near you.) The American Heart Association site - - similarly has the ability to search by zip code. You are looking for a Heart Saver course.
  2. If you don't need certification for your employment, you can take a Bystander course, ,and you ought to take one every two years, even if your memory is good, because CPR changes and evolves as researchers learn more and more about what works best. Bystander CPR courses are less expensive than certification courses and don't last as long. A 30-minute CPR-AED course (AHA Family & Friends) was proven to be equal to the 3+ hour certification course for CPR and equal to or better than the 3+ hour course for AED use. (Resuscitation 2007 Aug; 74(2) 276-85) In Chatham County. The Red Cross (912.651.5313) has a short Bystander course. The American Heart Association has a Family & Friends CPR Anytime! course in a box (available from SLICC (912.308.3639), and the St. James School Neighborhood Training Center holds classes in Bystander CPR, AED use, choking emergencies, and stroke recognition on the second Monday evening of most months. (Register at ).
  3. If you are troubled by the thought of needing to know how to perform CPR before you can take a class, you can always pull down the SLICC class video from This is no substitute for attending a class, but it will let you sleep better tonight before your class next week and will provide some measure of proficiency that will be better than no training at all.