Month: September, 2014

Why should you renew your CPR certification?

September 30, 2014 Travis Smith CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

10628356_927464490603446_2057883816255398546_n (1)Years ago you signed up for a CPR class and you were so proud of yourself for taking that first step in learning the steps to save a life. However, did you know that 50% of those trained in CPR are unable to pass a skills test a year after training? If you are not continually using your skills and performing CPR on a regular basis (i.e., EMT, ER Nurse, paramedic) than chances are that over time, you may forget some of the important stuff! While in graduate school I actually wrote my thesis on customer satisfaction and knowledge retention in CPR classes. I can proudly say that our customers at CPR Choice retain more knowledge than the average CPR student but these skills are IMPORTANT! We are talking about life-saving and the fact is that many people forget important concepts and techniques.

How Long is My CPR Certification Valid?

CPR certifications from the American Heart Association (AHA), Red Cross (ARC) and American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) is often valid for 2 years from the date of issue. Some certification programs can vary, and it’s important that you check with your instructor to make sure you are aware of the expiration period.  Expirations should be listed on your certification card that is given to you the completion of your course.

Other reasons to renew your CPR certificaiton

Another key reason to keep up with your CPR certification is that science and discoveries are always changing and CPR guidelines are continuously updated every few years. It is important to be aware of how treatments have changed and how those changes affect how we perform CPR.  We highly encourage you to re-take a course if your last certification was prior to 2011; as many changes were made at that time. Also by maintaining your certification you reduce your liability if you ever had to perform CPR. See more information about Good Samaritan Laws here.10624853_926170134066215_8747011700374742124_n

Who Needs CPR Renewal?

Anyone who takes CPR should try their best to maintain their certification. For many occupations, such as healthcare providers (anyone that touches a patient), lifeguards, construction & manufacturing, school personnel, fitness instructors and childcare providers, CPR certification and recertification is a requirement for licensing or to meet OSHA standards. It’s imperative that these personnel maintain their certifications at all times. Failing to to insure there is no lapse in certification can result in termination or loss of licensing.


Invest a small amount of your time and money into taking a CPR class.  When you compare that investment to the life you could be saving, there really is no comparison.

CPR Choice offers classes for everyone; whether it is your first time or 30th time.  We promise to make the class comfortable and enjoyable and to give you tips and tricks to retain your knowledge.  100% of our customers say they feel confident to give CPR if needed after our class.  Sign up for a class today!  We offer American Heart Association and ASHI classes including: BLS for Healthcare Provider, Heartsaver CPR & AED, and Heartsaver First Aid.  These classes cover adult CPR, child CPR and infant CPR as well as conscious choking, unconscious choking and how to use an AED.  You won’t regret making the choice to save lives!


CPR Choice supports Glow Trot

September 29, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, First Aid

Saturday night the CPR Choice tglow-trot-logo-5eam headed to the 2nd annual Glow Trot 5K organized by Love>Fear & Maryville Vineyard Church. 100% of the funds raised went to support Reach Haiti ministries which runs the Child of Purpose Children’s Village; this orphanage houses 28 children ages 2-18 who would be struggling to survive without our care. Reach Haiti also sets up and supports churches, meets educational needs, trains the next generation of Haitian leaders and much, much more.

The 5K race began at 8PM and we wanted to make sure no one got hurt running in the dark.  We had 3 teams positioned around the course stocked with CPR and first aid supplies in case there was an emergency during the race.  We also provided a First Aid station fully equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and Emergency Oxygen if necessary.  Thankfully, other than a few bad scrapes everyone had a great time and no one got seriously injured.  We were glad to be there to support the cause and to treat a few victims of road rash.  Best of all, it got our team of CPR instructors together for some fun!




Ready, Set, Go!  Experienced instructors ready to give CPR at anytime!

CPR Choice team giving First Aid to a few race participants.

World Heart Day

September 29, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Every year the World Heart Federation celebrates with millions around the globe for World Heart Day. The World Heart Federation has a mission to “unite its members and lead the fight against heart disease and stroke.” This year they are trying to raise awareness by focusing on creating heart-healthy environments; enabling people to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work and play. World Heart Day 2014 is designed to encourage everyone on the planet to reduce their cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Some quick easy things you can do to improve your heart health:heart_globe

  1. Exercise
  2. Reduce Sodium intake
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Go for a short walk every 2-3 hours (if you have a desk job)
  5. Eat a well balanced diet
  6. Learn CPR

Many around the globe don’t have the freedom to choose to live heart healthy; some don’t have space to exercise, some don’t even know where they will get their next meal.  However, some things we can control and we are able to make choices about our health. The World Heart Federation is urging people to make a heart choice, not a hard choice and sign their petition to call on national and international leaders to recognize the global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to prioritize the need for heart-healthy environments wherever people live work, or play.


Watch their video here: Make the Heart Choice

Because cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s number one killer, killing 17.3 million people per year, we encourage you to improve your heart health and learn CPR.  CPR paired with an automated external defibrillator (AED) can greatly increase someone’s chance of survival if experience cardiac arrest.  Heart disease can hit anyone at anytime!  Be prepared to help a loved one, co-worker, or friend if the time ever arises and they need CPR.  

Make a heart choice, an easy choice and use CPR Choice to learn today!  We offer the best CPR classes in East Tennessee.  Proudly serving Knoxville, Maryville, Oakridge, Lenoir City, Sevierville, Johnson City, Morristown, Kingsport and Bristol!  Find a CPR course near you! 

Why Your Company should have an AED

September 28, 2014 Travis Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training

OnSite_Open_with_Case_M5066AThe AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) has a proven track record of saving lives in public places as well as in the workplace.  AEDs are designed to administer a potentially life-saving electric shock to the failing heart in order to restore a regular rhythm. The fact that most of us spend majority of our time within the work place makes it increasingly likely that if we were to suffer from cardiac arrest, we would do so at work. Having an automated external defibrillator available within the workplace, could assist in saving someone’s life. The following are several reasons why every company should have an AED.

Cardiac arrests are sudden, and usually fatal
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, any time!  Each year sudden cardiac arrest strikes almost 400,000 thousand people in the United States alone.  Most sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals every year and many come without any warning signs. They happen when the electric impulses within the heart become irregular and erratic.  Sadly, fewer than 5% survive, often because EMS cannot reach them in time. Victims must be treated with in minutes; providing life-saving shocks from an AED and proper CPR.

Chances of survival decrease every minute
After someone has suffered from a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by approximately 10% with every minute that passes. Although you may feel as though waiting for 911 to arrive and use an AED is a safer course of action, the reality is that the quicker an AED is used along with proper CPR, the more likely that a regular heart rhythm can be restored. Having a readily accessible AED within a company’s building could give the victim the best possible chance of survival.

Learning how to use one is easy
In the case of an emergency, absolutely anyone can learn to use an AED.  AEDs are for the ordinary person in the extraordinary moment!  CPR Choice offers CPR and AED training on-site at your workplace.  We can train ANYONE, including the environmental service staff, warehouse worker, office employees, or even the CEO of the company. By having an AED available within your workplace, a company allows their employees and customers the opportunity to increase their safety by ensuring help can be given immediately, if a cardiac incident were to take place.

aed caseYou can’t hurt someone or worsen the situation by using an AED
AED’s are awesome.  They contain an internal EKG monitoring system that will read the victim’s heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock if medically necessary.  Attempting to use an AED will not cause any damage to the victim, as it can only give you more information than you already have. This means you don’t have to worry about accidentally shocking a colleague’s if they don’t need it.

It’s always better to be prepared
Many business owners that I talk to will say, “We’ve never had anyone go down on the job and odds are it’s not going to happen”.  Well, do you have a fire extinguisher at work?  How about a security alarm system or camera?  Have you ever had a fire or burglary?  Hopefully you never experience a medical emergency, fire or burglary but having the tools to deal with the incident is necessary just in case of an emergency. Having an AED at your worksite will mean that you are prepared to save a customer or employee’s life should the worst happen.

CPR Choices offers training and sales of AEDs to businesses. We currently offer on-site training classes in Knoxville, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport, Morristown and surrounding areas of East Tennessee. Call for pricing 865-548-1500 or visit

aed components


October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month!

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR, Heart Health

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the U.S. alone, approximately 424,000 people of all ages experience SCA each year (more than 1,000/day) and 19 out of 20 victims die.


SCA is a sudden or unexpected pulseless condition attributed to the cessation of cardiac mechanical activity.  It is usually caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system.  When SCA occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain, the heart and the rest of the body and the person collapses.  In fact, the person is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately.

A heart attack and SCA are not one in the same.  A heart attack occurs when part of the hearts blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die.  A heart attack victim is awake and may complain about symptoms.  The SCA victim is not awake and will need immediate attention.

SCA can strike anyone, anytime.  Seconds count-timely and appropriate care will substantially improve survival rates.   In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest:


  • Call 911.  Give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 45 years old, experiencing chest pain
  • Tell someone to get the AED.
  • Begin doing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Learn CPR and AED functionality.  Get your friends and family involved too.  Remember, over 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, which means a life you save could very well be a loved one!
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Access– spread the word on why having an AED at your work, school or community center can be the key to survival.  CPR Choice sells AEDs and provides hands on training, as well as guidance on internal procedures for the best utilization.

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up today!


Preparing Children for Disasters

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, First Aid, Preparation and Disaster Planning

September is National Preparedness Month and families with children are the most vulnerable during a disaster. Children have distinct healthcare requirements in regard to their anatomic, physiologic, developmental and psychological characteristics.  For example, children are more sensitive to smoke inhalation, hypothermia and shock.  In emergencies, children are more prone to shock due to smaller blood volumes and smaller fluid reserves.  They are also more likely to sustain serious injuries with blood loss and trauma to the body as a result of their smaller size.   As a result, it’s critical to have at least one person in your household that has basic lifesaving skills and CPR Training.


When preparing your house for potential disasters keep your little ones in mind. Here are a few helpful reminders:

  • Talk to your children about the dangers of disasters that are likely in your area and how to prepare for each type.
  • Make sure they know where to go in your home to stay safe.
  • Teach them how to recognize danger signals. For example, smoke detectors, fire alarms- what do they sound like and what to do when you hear them.
  • Additions for your emergency kit:
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, diapers, baby food)
    • Games and activities for children
    • A few of your child’s favorite books, crayons an paper
    • Favorite small toys like dolls or action figures
    • A board game, deck of cards or puzzles
    • A picture of your family and pets
    • Include medicines specifically for your children in the event of sickness or injury
  • Turn off the TV or watch news coverage with them and talk about it afterwards.
  • Keep your family together as much as possible. And calmly and firmly explaining the situation. For example, “tonight, we will all stay together in the shelter”. This will alleviate worry and avoid anxiety. .
  • Encourage children to talk. Let them talk about the situation and ask them to describe their feelings. Help them learn to use words that express their feelings, such as happy, sad, angry, mad, and scared. Use drawing or painting as an activity to help them tell their story.
  • Go back to your former routine as soon as possible.

Take the time this month to prepare your family!   Communication and preparation, especially for smaller children, will alleviate additional stress in the event of a disaster. America’s PrepareAthon! Is scheduled for September 30th, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to Start preparing now!

Using Technology to Protect Your Family

September 22, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Preparation and Disaster Planning

Digital and mobile technology drastically expands human interaction and enables people to receive critical information when they need it, where they need it and how they need it.   According to The American Red Cross, the internet- including online new sites and social media platforms- is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.


Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from emergency situations.  By using effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate and manage financial affairs.  These devices are as much a part of life today as important inventions of the past like the automobile and television.

Tech Tips:

  • Keep all your contacts updated using multiple channels, including email, phone and social media.  Consider creating a “group” for all emergency contacts.
  • Send updates via text and internet from mobile phone in case voice communications are not available.
  • Program “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you in you are unable to use your phone.
  • Conserve your cell battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.  Also immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion.  Limiting usage of these services can also help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
  • Signup to receive a monthly preparedness tip from FEMA’s text messages programs. (
  • Bookmark important sites on your mobile phone, including your local emergency management agency, National Weather Service.
  • Use mobile apps to stay informed and receive information quickly.  For example, The American Heart Association provides a First Aid and CPR Smartphone App to provide quick, concise and clear first aid and CPR instructions in the event of an emergency, FEMA App provides access to disaster preparedness tips and shelter options, The American Red Cross offers several apps ranging from first aid to natural disasters.

CPR Choice encourages everyone to learn the life-saving skills before an emergency or disaster occurs.  We offer American Heart Association CPR classes including: Basic Life Support BLS for Healthcare Providers, Heartsaver CPR & First Aid classes and blood borne pathogens.  Be prepared, enroll in a class today!  Now offering classes in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Maryville, Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol, TN.


Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare!

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, CPR Training, Preparation and Disaster Planning


Power outages, hail, tornadoes, snow storms – it’s critical to plan ahead for emergencies! September is “National Preparedness Month” and throughout September more than 3000 organizations, including national, regional and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, will support emergency preparedness efforts and encourage Americans to take action.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA released new research this month that nearly half of all Americans have not discussed, or developed an emergency plan with their family about where to go and what to do in the event of a local disaster. The research showed that a large number of American families are aware of the importance of preparing for emergencies; however, the awareness doesn’t always translate into action. Do you and your family have a plan in the event of a disaster?

Here are a few simple steps to protect and prepare your family:

Build an emergency preparedness kit:

  • Water- one gallon of water per person for at least three days
  • Food- at least a three day supply of non-perishable food (manual can opener)
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert (extra batteries for both)
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filer air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelletes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phones with charges, inverts or solar chargers

Create a Communication Plan:

  • Develop a communications plan and share with your family. For example, have a family discussion to determine who would be your out –of-state point of contact, and where you would meet away from your home (if needed). Document all the important numbers and contacts. (Sample communication plan)

Stay Informed

  • Pay attention to potential weather related threats in your area and or your local news for updates. Use Technology as much as much possible to stay informed and abreast of the updates in your area.
  • Have at least one member of your household trained in first aid and CPR/AED.

To further encourage Americans to take action, National Preparedness Month will also culminate with America’s PrepareAthon! a national grassroots day of action. On September 30, people in all 50 states will come together to take actions around the hazards their communities could face with drills, conversations, and exercises in their schools, workplaces, houses of worship and organizations. To learn more you can go to

While we can’t prevent all disasters, it’s important we all do what we can to prepare for them–creating an emergency kit, family communications plan, ensuring someone in your family can administer first aid and/or CPR are all great places to start. Start preparing now!

Am I Liable if I give CPR?

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, Hands-Only CPR, Liability

Almost every day, someone shares their concerns and fears of being held liable if they were to give CPR to a bystander.  It does seem like people can be sued for almost anything these days.  Have you read about consumers suing restaurants for causing them to be overweight?  Or criminals that sue their own victims for injuries caused while committing the crime?

With this sort of litigiousness being prevalent in our culture, many people tend to be cautious with their interactions with others. When it comes to giving someone CPR or first aid many fear their liability.  What happens if they break a rib or if the person isn’t resuscitated?  In the state of Tennessee there are protections in place for those who are, in good faith, attempting to provide assistance during an emergency.  Most states have these safe guards in place, they are usually referred to as Good Samaritan laws.


Tennessee’s Good Samaritan Law protects ANY person who provides emergency rescue, CPR or first aid from liability if they meet certain conditions:

  • The rescuer must be acting in good faith.  This means he or she is providing care to the person without any motive other than saving the person’s life or keeping them from further harm.  They may not receive any rewards or monetary donation.
  • The situation must be a potential life-threatening emergency and the care must be necessary to treat the injury.  Examples of life saving treatment are giving CPR, applying pressure for blood loss, giving rescue breaths, providing first aid or performing abdominal thrusts to a choking victim.
  • Care must be provided on a voluntary basis.  The caregiver must not have legal obligation to provide help nor can they be paid for providing assistance. A healthcare provider (i.e, paramedic, nurse, physician) that is on duty is not protected under Good Samaritan laws.  However, a healthcare provider that stops at the scene of an accident and provides first aid (while not on duty) IS protected.
  • You may not commit gross negligence.  The caregiver must not deliberately act in a way that would cause harm to the victim. This could include performing skills that you are not trained to perform.

The best way to protect yourself is to get certified in CPR and First Aid by taking a class from an authorized training center.  Keep your certification current, most certifications last 2 years.  As long as you are acting with true intentions of trying to save someone’s life,  you are not held liable.  If you have not been trained, please call 911 and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)!

good samaritan

Good Samaritan Act – Article 4 ARS.#32-1471

Health care providers and other persons administering emergency aid are not liable. Any health care provider licensed or certified to practice as such in this state or elsewhere or any other person who renders emergency care at a public gathering or at a scene of an emergency occurrence gratuitously and in good faith, shall not be liable for any civil or other damages as the result of any act or omission by which person rendering the emergency care, or as the result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured persons, unless such person, while rendering such care, is guilty of gross negligence.

To read the entire Tennessee Good Samaritan Act, click here.

This article is not intended to be legal advice

Am I required to take CPR?

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

Who Needs CPR & First Aid Training?

Everyone needs it!  Our goal is to deliver high quality training and to create a casual, fun atmosphere in both our CPR & First Aid classes.  We make sure that all students feel confident in their ability to perform the life saving skills we teach.  Our experienced instructors can help ANYONE learn CPR!  We offer American Heart Association classes including Basic Life Support BLS for Healthcare Providers and Heartsaver CPR/First Aid classes.

Learn CPR

Typical Professions that may require CPR or First Aid Training:

All Healthcare Providers
Doctors, Dentists, Registered Nurses (RNs), Chiropractors, Physical & Occupational Therapists, Clinical Nurse Assistants (CNA), Dental Hygeinists, Registered Dental Assistants (RDA), Medical students, Other Hospital & Healthcare Professionals

City & County Officials
Emergency Medical Techs (EMTs), Paramedics, Firefighters, Police Officers, Municipal & Federal Employees, Power & Water Employees

School Teachers, Coaches, Daycare Staff, Sunday School Teachers, Youth Organization Leaders, Counselors, Student Teachers

Bank Employees, Construction Workers, Restaurant Staff, Hotel/Hospitality staff, Retail Staff, Manufacturing Personnel

Group Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, Lifeguards, Boy & Girl Scouts, Community Associations, Foster Parents, Church Staff

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires many occupations to maintain current training in CPR and First Aid. Federal OSHA standard 1910.151 states: “In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid.” Additionally, many employers want their employees trained, even if it is not required.

Check out our calendar to find a class for individuals or complete the form for on-site group training.  We guarantee it will be the best CPR class you have ever taken!  We currently serve the Knoxville, Maryville and     Tri-cities area of Tennessee (TN).  Visit one of our websites for specific information for your area.


Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"

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