Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign that encourages bystanders to become trained and empowered to take action in a bleeding emergency. A person can die from blood loss within five minutes, meaning those nearest to the life-threatening injury are the most crucial in providing care and, ultimately, saving a life.
How to Stop the Bleed
Heavy bleeding interferes with the body’s natural clotting process. If a person is bleeding heavily, call 911 immediately and take action to help save their life. Wear gloves and goggles when providing care to protect yourself. If you don’t have access to gloves, use plastic bags or anything that will create a watertight barrier between you and the bleeding wound.
Apply pressure with your hands
Expose the wound and apply firm, direct pressure. You may also have the wounded person apply pressure with his own hands.
Apply a dressing and press
Expose the wound and apply firm, direct pressure with sterile gauze or the cleanest cloth available. Add dressings as they become soaked with blood. DO NOT remove the soaked dressings.
Apply a tourniquet
If the bleeding cannot be controlled by applying direct pressure, place a tourniquet at least 2 inches above the injury, but not over a joint. Do not remove the tourniquet once it has been applied. Record the time and tell EMS responders what time the tourniquet was applied.
Be Prepared to Respond to a Bleeding Emergency
Life-threatening bleeding can occur from emergencies such as vehicle crashes, incidents involving occupational hazards, accidental injuries from natural disasters, and intentional injuries from mass casualty events. Many businesses and communities are adding Bleeding Control Kits to public access points to help prepare for the unexpected. These kits include easy-to-use life-saving tools that even untrained bystanders are able to use.
We encourage everyone to get trained, so you feel prepared to assist in a bleeding emergency. EMS Safety’s First Aid program provides First Aid training for community responders, including bleeding control and other related medical emergencies such as responding to shock and traumatic injuries. Find an Instructor near you to get certified in First Aid.
As a new EMS Safety Instructor, your biggest hurdle will be teaching your first CPR class. To avoid a long gap between becoming an Instructor and teaching, we recommend diving head first into the CPR teaching world. Here are a few steps you can take to help prepare for teaching your first CPR class.
Embrace the Unknown
It's normal to be nervous or feel unsure of yourself in the beginning. We've all been there. Am I ready? Will people find me credible? Will my students judge me? What happens if I make a mistake? Remember, the biggest rewards in life are just on the other side of fear.
Teaching takes practice. The truth is, you probably won’t hit the ball out of the park on the first try. Embrace it. It's okay to let your students know you are still learning. It's okay to make a mistake and own up to it. It's okay to fumble your words in front of your students and laugh it off. Your students will respect you for it. It makes you more relatable and less intimidating.
Teach Family and Friends
Your first few classes will help you to shake your nerves and become more familiar with the material. We recommend teaching your spouse, family or friends in a small setting to help iron out the kinks. They can provide you with honest feedback and enjoy a few giggles with you if there are a couple of hiccups along the way.
Know the Basics
You will need to purchase materials and review your Instructor materials prior to teaching your first class.
Purchase Correct Materials
You are required to purchase a corresponding student workbook for each student. If you are teaching a CPR, AED and First Aid class, each student must be given a CPR, AED and First Aid student workbook to use during class and as a post-class reference for the next two years. Student materials must be purchased prior to teaching the class, so be sure to order with plenty of time for delivery.
Digital Versus Physical Certification Cards
When you place your order online or over the phone, you must select either digital or physical certification cards. In order to issue digital certification cards, each student must have a unique email address. If the company or student is not willing to provide a unique email, you will need to issue physical certification cards instead. This is one of the many reasons it's important to speak with your students ahead of time to determine their needs.
Review Instructor Manual
The Instructor Manual provides all the information you will need to prepare for and teach your first class. It contains a Lecture Guide that leads you through each topic, and provides additional teaching tips, common questions and information that students will not see in their student workbook.
The Instructor Manual helps you keep the students engaged in the course and promotes learning - not just memorization - by encouraging questions and discussion. Practice using the Instructor Manual with the Course DVD or videos located in the Instructor Portal. This will help provide a more natural delivery of the information.
Use the PowerPoint
EMS Safety provides course-specific PowerPoints in the Instructor Portal at no additional charge. They provide a visual learning opportunity for students and also serve as a guide for the Instructor. Each PowerPoint has the video chapters directly embedded into the presentation and includes discussion questions throughout each topic. The PowerPoint with embedded chapters can be used instead of your Instructor Manual and DVD.
Download the PowerPoint well in advance to ensure your software is compatible and all technology is working properly. Don't wait until the day of the class to review the slides. Feel free to tailor the PowerPoint to your unique teaching style and students’ needs. If you add additional information that is not provided by EMS Safety, clearly note that on the PowerPoint.
Ask the Expert
If a student has a question you can’t answer or if you need clarification on a topic or help choosing which materials are best for your class, use the "Ask the Expert" email feature in your Instructor Portal. One of our Program Specialists will contact you soon with an answer. They enjoy helping Instructors because better training and preparation results in better-prepared students!
FAQs, Webinars and Instructor Resources
Many Instructors ask similar questions, so be sure to review our FAQs for a quick answer. There are also many resources online in the Instructor Portal and on the EMS Safety website, such as blogs, videos, checklists and recorded webinars to help you prepare.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and the leading cause of adult long-term disability. An estimated 6.8 million Americans are living after having a stroke. Women are at a greater risk of stroke with 55,000 more women having a stroke each year than men. Women are also more adversely affected by stroke due to their longer life expectancy. They are more likely to be living alone when they have a stroke, and more likely to live in a long-term care facility after the stroke. By bringing awareness to stroke symptoms and risk factors and implementing strategies for stroke prevention for women, we can identify women at higher risk and help prevent future strokes.
Signs of a Stroke
A stroke is an injury to the brain caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain cells. When a blood vessel becomes blocked or bursts, oxygen-rich blood is unable to reach a portion of the brain and brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a life-threatening condition that requires you to recognize the signs and act fast!
Common Signs or Symptoms of a Stroke
Weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg (usually on one side)
Difficulty speaking or swallowing
Loss of balance or coordination
Confusion or decreased alertness
Severe headache or dizziness
Change in vision
Unique Symptoms for Women
Symptoms may present differently in women, making it more difficult to recognize a stroke is occurring and often delaying treatment. In addition to the above-mentioned signs, other reported symptoms in women include:
High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke. Other medical risk factors include Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), high cholesterol, diabetes and blood circulation problems. Lifestyle risk factors include poor diet and nutrition, lack of adequate physical activity, tobacco use and smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Uncontrollable stroke risk factors, like age, family history and other medical conditions, cannot be changed, but being aware of them can help determine your overall risk for stroke.
Risk Factors for Women
Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer, yet women are often less knowledgeable about their unique stroke risk factors. According to the National Stroke Association, the following scenarios increase a woman’s stroke risk.
Taking oral contraceptives – The primary concern is for women who already have additional risk factors, such as age, smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Being pregnant – Natural changes in the body, such as increased blood pressure and stress on the heart, can increase stroke risk.
Using Hormone Replacement Therapy – A combination of progestin and estrogen used to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Suffering from migraine headaches with aura – Stroke risk is increased 2.5 times for women with migraines.
Strokes can happen to anyone at any time. However, up to 80% of strokes are preventable. Simple changes to your lifestyle and addressing certain medical concerns with medications and special diets can help lower your risk of stroke.
Stroke Prevention for Women
Women often don’t perceive themselves at risk for stroke. Women should consult a doctor with any stroke risk concerns and implement these stroke prevention strategies.
Women who smoke and experience migraines with auras should stop smoking immediately.
Women over 75 should be screen for AFib.
Women should get screened for high blood pressure before starting on birth control.
Women who are pregnant should monitor their blood pressure during and after pregnancy.
To learn more about responding to stroke and other medical emergencies, find an Instructor near you to get CPR, AED and First Aid certified.
Rescue breaths have recently become a hot topic in the media and amongst the emergency care training industry yet again. When the 2010 CPR and ECC guidelines were released, we were bombarded with the message that rescue breaths had been eliminated from CPR. But that wasn’t the whole picture. A real explanation of the benefits of rescue breaths was needed, but unfortunately, the headlines left a lot to be desired. Now that rescue breaths have come into question again, we’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some confusion.
The Need for Rescue Breaths Depends on the Emergency
Cardiac arrest occurs for two primary reasons: sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and secondary cardiac arrest.
SCA happens abruptly when the electrical system of the heart causes the heart to stop pumping. Forward blood and oxygen flow ceases, and normal breathing stops. However, uncirculated oxygen remains in the bloodstream. Research shows that chest compressions without rescue breaths can effectively circulate the remaining oxygen for the first few minutes. Between this research and other influencing factors - like the potential risk of the victim vomiting and additional details of learning how to properly give rescue breaths (ex: opening the airway and creating an airtight seal) - eliminating rescue breaths appears to be a reasonable concept.
However, secondary cardiac arrest requires providing effective rescue breaths. Secondary cardiac arrest happens when an initial airway or breathing problem prevents oxygen from entering the body. This is the most common way cardiac arrest occurs in children. Secondary cardiac arrest can be caused by medical emergencies like drowning, suffocation or opioid overdose. The lack of available oxygen will progressively weaken until the heart stops. Getting oxygen into the body becomes critical as it will stimulate the heart to beat faster and become stronger. It will also trigger the resulting oxygen to reach the brain and stimulate the breathing effort.
Although eliminating rescue breaths for CPR would make providing care more straight forward for a victim of SCA, it would not help a victim of secondary cardiac arrest. Because the cause of medical emergencies cannot always be definitively determined by a lay provider, it’s crucial we teach traditional CPR with compression-only CPR as an alternative option for providing care.
Rescue Breaths are Critical for Trained CPR Providers
For certified lay providers, rescue breaths are still a critical component of performing CPR. As Instructors, traditional CPR should always be taught with rescue breaths in order to increase the chance of survival.
For the untrained lay provider, the option to perform compression-only CPR helps to eliminate hesitation or unwillingness to provide care. This was one of the underlying goals of the CPR guidelines update: eliminate barriers to action. Learning compression-only CPR requires only a few minutes of time and can be easily communicated to the masses, resulting in more people taking action. Compressions without breaths is always better than doing nothing at all.
EMS Safety Instructors play a vital role in communicating the differences in traditional CPR and compression-only CPR, including explaining the limitations of compression-only CPR and providing situations where compression-only CPR is not recommended. We should provide awareness training in compression-only CPR, but always encourage our workplaces and communities to get certified in traditional CPR to increase outcomes.
During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 14-20), we celebrate the men and women behind the scenes during life’s emergencies - 911 dispatchers and call takers. These individuals work in a stressful environment, charged with the responsibility of communicating with frightened callers during chaotic situations. They serve as the voice of reason by providing a sense of calm to callers, all while coordinating with emergency medical services, fire and police.
Prevent the Bystander Effect
Many people who need help don’t receive it because of the bystander effect - when other people are present, we assume that someone else will help. This includes calling 911.
A person has a better chance of surviving an emergency when 911 is called early. If you recognize an emergency, it’s crucial that you decide to act and call 911 immediately. Don’t assume someone else will. If you are attempting to provide care, ask another bystander to call 911 by pointing at the person, calling them by their name or shirt color and clearly telling them to call 911.
Motorists have so many distractions vying for their attention – from cell phones and dashboard systems to fast food and screaming children. One moment of distracted driving can change a life forever. Last year, more than 40,000 people were killed in motor vehicle fatalities. We urge motorists to avoid distractions and focus on driving. Everything else can wait.
Distractions lead to driver error. The National Safety Council reports that 94% of crashes are caused by driver error, meaning almost all crashes are preventable! Distracted driving doesn’t just affect you. Drivers talking on phones, whether hand-held or hands-free, miss seeing up to 50% of what is going on around them, including other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. A “quick” text or call can mean missing seeing the first responder pulled over on the side of the road or a child darting into the street.
According to the AAA Foundation, drivers can be distracted for as long as 27 seconds after using voice-based technology to dial, change music or send a text message. At a speed of just 25 mph, a motorist can travel the length of three football fields during this amount of time. Imagine what that means when you are traveling 70+ mph on the highway!
Driving requires your full attention. Just because you’ve driven a route plenty of times or have become accustomed to scrolling your favorite social media while switching lanes, doesn’t mean you have somehow mastered distracted driving. Evaluate your driving habits and take action to make your next trip safer.
Don’t compose, send or read text messages or emails while driving.Stay off Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and other social media apps.Ask a passenger for help with placing a call, navigating directions or adjusting dashboard controls.Secure loose items. They can quickly become distractions or projectiles in a sudden stop or vehicle accident.
Avoid multi-tasking in the car. Pull over to care for children. Stop to eat or drink.Don’t drive when fatigued or under the influence of alcohol, medications or other drugs.Allow extra time for your trip to account for any additional stops and to avoid the need to rush to your destination.Program your GPS
before starting your trip.
Responding to an Accident
At some point, you may be involved in an accident or witness one. Your role could range from calling 911 to redirecting traffic to performing lifesaving skills. Formal CPR, AED and First Aid training will provide the necessary skills and practice to respond confidently in an emergency. Click here to find an Instructor or CPR class near you.
Some Instructors choose to teach Child CPR using an adult manikin in order to save on expenses and avoid transporting more equipment to and from their classes. But is this really the best practice for providing quality training which ultimately leads to better outcomes in a real emergency? Here are a few reasons we believe every Instructor should invest in at least one child CPR manikin.
Provide Realistic Child CPR Training
We want to provide students with the most realistic training. This means practicing techniques with equipment that reflects emergencies they may encounter. By having a child CPR manikin available, students gain a better understanding of the differences in hand placement, compression depth and ventilation for Child CPR.
Depending on the size of the child, the rescuer will need to choose to use 1 or 2 hands to perform compressions. A child CPR manikin allows the student to see just how much smaller of a body they will be working on. This translates to accurately practicing giving smaller breaths and achieving a compression depth of about 2 inches rather than just guessing on an adult manikin.
Practice AED Pad Placement for Children
Students will have the opportunity to practice front-back AED pad placement for a small child. It’s natural to hesitate to use an AED in general, but even more so when it’s used on a child or an infant. By properly training for AED use on a child manikin, students will be more confident when responding in an emergency.
Create an Emotional Connection with the Victim
One of the most effective teaching tools you can use is to create an emotional connection between your students and the training you’re providing. A child manikin often “hits closer to home” than a standard adult manikin. By seeing and performing these techniques on a small body, an emotional response is often triggered and sticks with the student long-term.
Child Manikins to Fit Your Needs
There are several child manikins to choose from depending on your needs. If you only teach Child CPR occasionally, one child manikin may be enough. However, if you teach childcare providers on a regular basis, we always recommend that you invest in an adequate number of child and infant manikins to support your course ratios.
Features a unique clamshell design with easy-to-insert face shield lung bag and clicker mechanism for practicing correct compression depth.
Allows you to use one manikin for teaching Adult and Child CPR by adjusting the chest compression piston.
Provides a removable foam pad in the chest to switch between Adult and Child CPR compression techniques.
Features easy installation of single-use airway/face shield system and visible anatomical landmarks.
Click here to shop all CPR Manikins on our online store.
How to Perform Child CPR
Cardiac arrest in children usually results from respiratory arrest, not from a heart problem like in adults. If a child is unresponsive, send someone to call 911 and get the AED immediately. If you are alone without a phone, provide CPR for 2 minutes before leaving to call 911 and get the AED. Immediate CPR is more important than getting the AED.
Scan for breathing for 5-10 seconds. If the child is not breathing, perform 30 chest compressions with 1 or 2 hands depending on the size of the child.
Open the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Pinch the nose or apply a face mask and give 2 rescue breaths for 1 second each. Immediately resume compressions.
Continue cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until professional responders arrive and take over. If an additional rescuer is present, take turns every 5 cycles (2 minutes) to avoid fatigue.
If the child begins to move and breathe, turn him on his side to allow fluids or vomit to drain from the mouth.
To get certified in Adult, Child and Infant CPR click here to find an Instructor near you!
One of the many positives of owning your own CPR business is knowing there will always be a need for classes. This means there’s a limitless pool of students just waiting to be tapped into. Whether you are a new CPR Instructor or you’ve been teaching for many years, consider these proven methods in finding students and fill your class roster.
Word of Mouth
Every class you teach and every interaction you have is a chance to boost your reputation and leverage the most organic form of marketing: word of mouth.
We naturally share our opinions, positive or negative, on products and services to those around us. When a student has a great experience in class, they will share that experience with friends, family or co-workers. Encourage students to provide feedback online, so others can benefit from taking your class.
Printed and digital marketing materials are a great, professional way of finding students and spreading the word about your business. Not everyone is skilled in graphic design, so EMS Safety has created templated fliers that are located in the Instructor Portal. Our Instructors can simply fill in pertinent class information, print and distribute. You can also directly email your fliers to cut costs.
Distribute your fliers to local daycares, learning centers, churches, private businesses, dental offices, home health agencies, long-term care facilities, youth organizations and camps. Keep in mind that most industries require their employees to gain, at minimum, an Adult CPR and First Aid certification every two years. No business is too big or too small to benefit from your services.
Business cards are a traditional marketing tool that you can take anywhere. You never know who you might run into at the grocery store, airport or a casual night of dining. Be ready to provide a simple means of communication if the conversation turns to what you do for a living or the need for your services arises. There are many online stores, such as VistaPrint or GotPrint, that can help you create your business cards for a low price.
Social media is a free marketing outlet that allows you to leverage your current network of friends and family to finding students for upcoming courses. Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Yelp.
Post upcoming courses on your personal Facebook page.
Post class details to Facebook Groups specific to your area.
Create a business Facebook page. This will allow you to reach a broader audience and use analytical tools to determine which posts your audience is engaging with and how far your reach is.
A website is a great way to give instant credibility to your CPR business. There are many user-friendly platforms that are low-cost and equipped with templates to make building your website much less intimidating. There are also numerous free resources and tutorials online to get your technology skills up to speed so you can properly maintain your website.
Chamber of Commerce
Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce as a way to network with other small business owners and the local community. These organizations focus on creating opportunities for small businesses.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to reach out to local youth organizations. Staff will likely be required to maintain current CPR and First Aid certification. Plus, you can hold certification or enrichment classes for the children! Keep in mind that you may need to tailor your teaching style and course delivery when teaching CPR to children.
Get some face-to-face time with your community by participating in local health fairs, street fairs and other community events. Set up a simple booth with your printed marketing materials, and bring manikins for people to learn compression-only CPR!
We highly encourage you to use the EMS Safety Instructor Portal to keep in touch with students and contact them when it is time to renew their certification. The Instructor Portal allows you to easily access their contact information and email reminders about renewing with you. No more digging through boxes or binders of course records to generate repeat business!
Poison Prevention Week (March 17-23) highlights the importance of recognizing that some of the most dangerous items in our home are hiding in plain sight. More than 90% of poisonings occur in the home, and half of those involve children younger than the age 6. Most poisoning cases can be prevented, so it’s our responsibility to ensure our homes are as safe as possible.
What poisonous dangers exist?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 31 children die every year in the United States from unintentional poison exposures. In addition, 85,000 children are sent to the emergency room.
Common household dangers can be found under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, in the laundry room, and inside your medicine cabinet. If a child can reach it, an innocent household item can quickly turn into a deadly poison. Poisoning can occur through:
Eating and drinking – Medications, over-the-counter products, household cleaning products, chemicals, plants and illegal drugs
Inhaling gases or fumes – Carbon monoxide, fumes from glue or paint, and pesticides
Absorption through skin – Chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers
Injection – Bites, stings or hypodermic needle
Prevention is key
Unintentional poisoning can usually be prevented. Young children are naturally curious and learn by putting things in their mouth. Because of this, children between 8 months and 6 years of age are the most likely to be poisoned.
Store medications in a locked box, up high, and out of a child’s sight. Make sure medications are closed tightly and kept in their original labeled containers.
Store laundry products up high and out of sight. Single-load liquid packets are often colorful, making them a curiosity target for young children.
Keep household cleaning products in their original child-resistant packaging and secured out of reach.
Place carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
What to do if you suspect poisoning
Poisons act fast, so you must too! Signs of a possible poisoning include: dizziness, headache, confusion, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, burns or blisters around the mouth, throat or abdominal pain, drooling, unusual odor on breath, seizures and decreased response.
Try to identify the possible poison by looking for clues, such as empty bottles, opened containers or disturbed plants. Always call 911 if the person is unresponsive or having difficulty breathing and begin CPR if needed.
If the person is alert, call 1-800-222-1222 to connect with a local poison control center 24 hours a day. It’s free and confidential, and they have interpreters. While waiting for further instructions or care:
Place the person in a comfortable position. Monitor their response, breathing and appearance.
Do not give the person food or drink unless instructed to do so.
Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a poison control center or medical professional.
For an inhaled poison, move the person into fresh air if it is safe for you.
For a chemical on the skin, remove exposed clothing, brush off the chemical with a brush and gloved hand. Rinse the skin with water for at least 20 minutes.
There are over 4 million calls each year to poison control centers in the U.S., so don’t feel embarrassed or hesitate if you are unsure whether you should call.
Click here to find a First Aid Instructor in your area.
It’s never too early to learn lifesaving skills! Young children can learn and retain basic skills that may help save a loved one. Many Instructors are teaching CPR to children at schools, to youth organizations and to their own children. Below are a few tips to help you tailor your teaching style and delivery to match your young audience and begin shaping tomorrow's young heroes.
There are many examples of children successfully performing CPR and other First Aid skills. Although children are capable of learning and retaining these important skills, Instructors should recognize that they have different motivations for learning and may have certain limitations.
When teaching CPR to children, depending on physical development, some children may not be able to perform adequate chest compressions for an adult victim. Others may not be able to give both compressions and breaths, and could be taught compression-only CPR. Encourage the child to do the best he can, and stay calm. Simply recognizing an emergency and calling 911 can save a life!
You can issue students a participation award for any skills they are not able to successfully perform. Participation awards are located in the Instructor Portal.
Set the class up for success
Set class expectations and boundaries at the beginning of class, when teaching CPR to children.
Put cell phones away – This starts with you. Set the example and stay off your phone unless you are using it as a teaching tool. Have all students put their cell phones away to prevent distractions.
Review classroom etiquette – Common classroom behavior includes being respectful of others, listening quietly while others speak and handling materials and equipment with care. Determine whether students should raise their hands or if you will allow open discussion.
Discuss course schedule – Prepare students for what they will learn.
Modify your class schedule
Children often have a shorter attention span than adults. Plan for extra breaks. You can allow 10-minute breaks or give the students a “brain break” in the classroom. This can be a quick stretching session or dance party to lighten the mood.
Allow extra time for skills practice. Many students will not be familiar with a manikin and will require trial and error to learn the skills. You will likely spend more time demonstrating and providing positive feedback to help build their confidence.
Make it personal
Give students a reason to learn. Have any of them fallen and cut their knee? Broken a leg? Been stung by a bee? Choked on food? Gone camping, so they need to be able to take care of themselves? Use their own experiences to help them understand why it’s important to learn CPR and First Aid.
Don't forget to make it fun for them too! Liven up class by getting on their level. There are a number of current songs that can be used to practice correct compression rate - like the popular song Baby Shark!
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Repeat the information in as many ways as you can throughout the course. Consider using additional teaching tools, such as a white board, to present information in different ways and keep bringing the children’s attention back to the topic. Remember, children learn differently, so you want to attempt to capture as many learning styles as possible.
Use a reward system
Bring rewards for students who participate, ask great questions or answer your questions correctly. A small budget goes a long way at any dollar store. Stock up on stickers, erasers, crazy straws and candy. Rewards keep students interested, and they can help win your students over. You can be the cool Instructor rather than just another adult they have to listen to.
Children talk a lot, and their comments may or may not be on topic. Be patient. They are learning in their own way. It’s okay to laugh and joke with them, but continue to steer them back on topic.
Most importantly, have fun and know you are making a difference! You never know what critical piece of information will stick with them and affect how they will respond to an emergency in the future.