Part of keeping my personal training, weight loss management, and run coaching certifications up to date includes keeping current CPR and first aid certifications; and last night I took care of that for two more years. For the second time, I joined Allison for her Heartsaver (American Heart Association) CPR, AED, and First Aid class. Allison, of Safety Education Specialists, is a great instructor and keeps the class moving along and quite enjoyable!


I’ve mostly maintained my certification since college when I took my first CPR class as a Virginia Tech student. CPR was one of my health education requirements and we spent an entire quarter learning both American Red Cross and American Heart Association adult, child, infant, single-person and two-person CPR.  There were a bunch of guys from the Virginia Tech football team in my class, and I remember one of them was my partner for the two-person CPR.  He was a huge, incredibly strong guy and the professor told him that he was going to kill Annie with his deep compressions! Back then there was a different count/ratio for each type of patient, and you were tested both practically and with a written exam at the end of each type of certification. Today there are no written tests unless requested; and instead the instructor observes students to make sure they understand correct form, count, etc. before awarding the certification.

The early day Resusci-Annie had arms and legs and had a really bad blonde haircut. She was dressed in an ugly navy and red “jogging suit” and wore white sneakers – quite the athletic fashionista of the 1970’s. Today’s CPR mannequin is armless, legless, shirtless, and bald.


Last night, we started off our class with adult, child, and infant CPR. Once each student had mastered that skill, we moved on to learning to properly use an AED. After being revived with the AED, our mannequin joined us for the remainder of the class. Please don’t let his blank expression turn you off, the class really was very interesting!


The first aid section of the class consisted of learning what to do when coming upon a situation where someone appears to need help, but isn’t responsive, and learning what information to give the 911 operator. Some of, but not necessarily all, of the illnesses, injuries, and techniques we covered included:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Allergic reaction
  • EpiPen usage
  • Controlling light and heavy bleeding
  • Tourniquet usage
  • Applying splints
  • Dealing with sprains


I encourage you to take a CPR class if you’re not already certified, or to take a refresher class if your certification has expired (or is close to expiring). Who knows, it could make a difference in the life of someone you love!


  • Questions:
  • Are you CPR certified?
  • When did you take your first CPR class?
  • Have you ever had to perform CPR in real life?


Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated by Allison or her company to write this recap. All opinions are my own.