How to Save a Life

Is the song in your head now? Good. It’s been an earworm for me ever since I spent a day getting CPR/AED/First Aid certified.

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I’ve actually been CPR certified for most of my life — I spent my summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor, and it was required — but had let it lapse in recent years. Two things motivated me to go back to class and get my shiny new certificate: a 14-month-old who runs, plays and puts everything in her mouth AND my impending group exercise fitness instructor test.


Unfortunately, taking the full class took up an entire Saturday. Fortunately, I found every moment of the experience rewarding and I truly hope you consider investing your time in getting certified as well.


I chose to get my certification through the American Red Cross, and it cost me about $70 (would have been $85 but I had a coupon) and six hours. There are other options that are cheaper and shorter, but I wanted to make sure I got the pediatric instruction as well as adult.


I hope I never have to use the techniques I learned, but I feel so much better about my ability to help in an emergency (and what was really chilling was that of the 20 people in class, about half had stories of seeing life-threatening incidents up close), and to keep my kid safe.


Are you certified? Have you ever had to help save someone from an emergency?


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  1. says

    I got CPR certified last year for my CPT and it really was rewarding. It made me so aware (sometimes not in a good way) and feeling like I was constantly on alert but after a few weeks that settled down a little. I know I’d be really nervous if I ever had to use those skills but it does feel good knowing I have them and could help when necessary!

  2. says

    I became certified when I started teaching yoga. It’s required at most gyms. Thankfully, I have never been in a position where i had to use the skills. I also feel like I’d be really nervous that I wouldn’t remember what to do, or if I was even doing it correctly. I’ve heard from a few people that had the same fears that of all of the information came flooding back when they’ve had to actually give CPR. So, that’s comforting.

  3. says

    I am an EMT, so I have to keep my CPR current all the time. I’ve been in many code situations where I had to do compressions, and it never gets any easier emotionally to do them on a real person. It’s really an extremely valuable skill for everyone to know, and I am a definite advocate for parents to take a class focusing on the pediatric skills.

  4. says

    I can’t believe I haven’t done this…especially since my little one had febrile seizures last year and we had to call 911 and be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Thank you for kicking me in the proverbial butt, this is on my list to schedule on Monday.

  5. says

    I really need to go take this class. I’ve been meaning to fit years especially since I have two little ones. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened. Definitely adding this to my list of things to do in 2014. Hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve!

  6. Dave says

    For thirty years I have held a current first aid certificate with CPR reaccrediated each year. I had never had to use it until this year when I needed to do it twice (the second time ironically on the same day that this article was published).

    Living in a rural area in Australia we had a lady (53 years old) in October collapse while playing sport. A few of use shared the load in working on the lady (whom we all knew) for 35 minutes. A defib was sourced after the about 15 minutes and that combined with the CPR kept her going until paramedics arrived. The lady survived with no side effects. An amazing result.

    The second one (on the date of publication) was on an 63 year old gentleman who had a massive cardiac arrest while driving. I pulled up on scene after a couple of minutes and started CPR. Myself and another man worked on him for about 10 minutes but to no avail.

    I was just amazed how it all just seemed to fall into place and how much of the classes that you remember.


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