Better preparing our community

Editor’s Note:

Editor's note: The American Heart Association wants states to require high school students to learn how to give CPR and use an automated external defibrillator before they graduate. Editorial Advisort Art Hsieh says not only is this a good idea, but "if we are to make any major progress in helping victims survive sudden cardiac arrest, we need to prepare our community as integral partners in the response."

As you can imagine, I literally rejoice at such an article, and an emphasis to train kids in CPR and AED use prior to graduation will go a very long way in strengthening the first link in the chain of survival.

I've said this before: If we are to make any major progress in helping victims survive sudden cardiac arrest, we need to prepare our community as integral partners in the response.

As the science becomes more clear as to what constitutes real-life interventions, it's becoming simpler for lay persons to learn, and more importantly, retain the information to provide immediate assistance.

The real trick will be to develop curriculum that integrates well with an already clogged health education agenda, and doesn't burden teachers and EMS providers alike to teach the concepts.

Having training equipment available to learn with that provides concrete feedback to improve real time performance is a consideration. Convincing school officials that the need for this training is urgent is another one.

Implicit in the article is whether certification and the cost associated with it is necessary; it will be interesting to see what evolves in terms of layperson CPR over the next five years.

Places like King County Washington can point to the pervasiveness of CPR-trained citizens as part of their high resuscitation rate, and they have had CPR training in the public schools for quite some time.

It makes sense, and there's no time like the present to strive for better outcomes — especially when it can be this cost effective.

About the author

Art Hsieh, MA, NRP teaches in Northern California at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. An EMS provider since 1982, Art has served as a line medic, supervisor and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook writer, author of "EMT Exam for Dummies," has presented at conferences nationwide and continues to provide direct patient care regularly. Art is a member of the EMS1 Editorial Advisory Board. Contact Art at and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Request product info from top EMS CPR & Resuscitation companies

Thank You!

= required Error occured while sending data

By submitting your information, you agree to be contacted by the selected vendor(s).
  1. Tags
  2. Airway Management
  3. Cardiac Care

Join the discussion

logo for print