First Aid Training: Empowering Bystanders to Save Lives

In the United States, more than 1,000 people go into cardiac arrest (out of hospital) daily. While this may seem like a small number, it's actually a tragedy that can be prevented by CPR. The good news is that knowing how to perform this lifesaving intervention is empowering and life-saving for bystanders. And while many people are reluctant to act when they witness someone suffering from an emergency situation, knowing what to do can empower you to save lives!

It's important to note that more than 50 percent of people who experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital do not survive. Additionally, only about 1 in 10 individuals receive bystander CPR before EMS arrives on the scene. These statistics highlight the crucial role of proper training and immediate action from bystanders in potentially preventing avoidable deaths.

When it comes to saving lives, there's no substitute for knowing how to perform chest compressions as well as administering rescue breaths through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques--and knowing what not just one but two different kinds of tools do: AEDs (automated external defibrillators) deliver an electric shock directly into the heart muscle while manual defibrillators require a human operator whose job is simply pressing buttons at the right time in order for them work properly.

While many bystanders are reluctant to act, knowing what to do can be empowering and life-saving.

Knowing how to help someone in need can be empowering. It's also important because there are many situations where you might be the only one who can help a person in medical distress. You may feel nervous or unsure about what steps should be taken but remember: if you don't know what else to do, call 911 (112) immediately and let trained professionals take over until paramedics arrive on the scene. In addition to calling 911 when someone needs medical attention, there are other basic first aid skills that anyone can learn in two hours or less:

  • How To Help Someone Who Is Choking: First aid training teaches how best responders should respond when they see someone choking on food or another object--as well as what steps they should take afterward until professional medical personnel arrives at the location where this occurred.

Bystander intervention is key in saving lives

If you're reading this article, chances are you have a good understanding of what bystander intervention is and how it can save lives. But if you don't have a solid grasp on the concept yet, here's a quick refresher: Bystander intervention refers to any action taken by someone who witnesses an emergency situation--like when someone has fallen down or is having trouble breathing--and doesn't feel comfortable calling 911 right away.

The goal of these interventions is twofold: First, they help keep the victim safe until professional help arrives; second, they encourage bystanders not only to look out for each other but also to take action when necessary (which means we're talking about more than just calling 911). And because knowing what actions to take can be empowering and life-saving in itself, we encourage everyone from parents and teachers all the way up through community leaders like police officers and first responders themselves--even doctors! It doesn't matter who or where you are; if someone needs help fast enough that calling 911 isn't going to cut it anymore then just being there will suffice (like if their heart stops beating), then knowing CPR will help save their lives too!

If a person's heart stops, knowing CPR can save their life

CPR is a lifesaving technique that can be learned by anyone. It is an emergency procedure that can help keep oxygen flowing to the brain and other vital organs until professional medical help arrives. CPR may save lives when someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating (cardiac arrest). Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can be performed on people of all ages, though methods vary slightly by age group:

  • Infant CPR - Lay the infant on his/her back with head tilted back slightly and chin lifted so airways will remain open; push gently down on his/her chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute while simultaneously blowing two slow breaths into his/her mouth; repeat this cycle until paramedics arrive


In the wake of a tragedy like the Parkland shooting, it's easy to feel helpless. But there are things we can all do to help stop these tragedies from happening again. First, we can educate ourselves about gun violence and how it affects our communities; next, we can advocate for common-sense gun safety laws at the local level (and beyond). Finally, we should all make sure our friends and family know what to do if they ever find themselves in an emergency situation involving firearms or other weapons--which is why I'm so grateful that my colleagues at Everytown have launched a new training program called "First Aid Training: Empowering Bystanders.

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