Learning CPR - A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever asked yourself, "How do I learn CPR?"

Anyone can find themselves as a bystander in an emergency. The key is to be prepared. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to the CPR process. To learn more or schedule a CPR training class, click here to find CPR class dates and times.

Before you begin CPR

Survey the situation

It's important to be aware of your surroundings. Assess the situation to make sure it's safe for you to approach the person in question, and don't panic. Tap the person on the shoulder and ask if they're ok. You may need to be more forceful by shaking the person or raising your voice. The goal here is to make sure this person needs medical attention.

Call for help

Call 911 or ask another bystander to call 911. It's important to do this before you begin CPR. The rest of this list won't help much if an ambulance does not arrive to get them to the hospital. If the 911 dispatcher gives instructions, follow them.

Get an AED

Send someone to get an automated external defibrillator (AED). These are becoming more common in workplaces and households and are proven to save lives, so ideally someone will be able to locate one nearby. If one isn't available, stay with the victim and proceed.

Check for breathing

Listen carefully to get an accurate impression of the person's breathing. Note that if the person occasionally gasps for breath, that is not considered breathing. Listen for approximately 10 seconds--if you determine that the person is not breathing, begin CPR.

Performing CPR


Why do we use compressions? They help blood move through the brain, keeping it alive until the heart can get started again. Push hard and fast. Having experience training on CPR manikins is valuable. Put your hands one on top of the other in the middle of the chest. Per the American Red Cross, use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. Remember that the purpose of this is to help this person until paramedics arrive.


Tilt the person's head back slightly. With their chin lifted, pinch the nose and put your mouth over their mouth to make a complete seal. Blow air into the person's mouth, making their chest rise. Deliver two breaths, then continue compressions. If you do not have CPR training or don't feel comfortable giving rescue breaths, then keep doing compressions until help arrives or the patient wakes up and tells you to stop.

Get CPR certified

The above information shouldn't be a substitute for CPR training. If you've ever wondered, "Where can I learn CPR?" know that you're not alone. There are hands-on resources available for you. Our professional emergency safety personnel teach safety classes to individuals, families, EMS departments, government agencies, businesses, and schools. If you're interested in learning these life-saving skills, check out our CPR training classes.

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