Author: Travis Smith

Back to School Basics!

August 15, 2016 Travis Smith Uncategorized 0 Comments

CPR Class!Summer is over and fall is slowly creeping in… Schedules and routines change, new caregivers and teachers enter the picture and concerns for our children’s safety are always on our minds. Be diligent in the process and CPR Choice has a few tips to help the summer to fall transition be a smooth one!

  1. Prepare your household for upcoming changes- early mornings, homework, extra traffic, new bed times are all adjustments that need to be made in order to have a healthy, productive day for everyone in your household. P-L-A-N is another four letter word that is crucial for success when attempting a new routine. Save time by preparing items before bedtime to save time in the morning. For example- laying out clothes for the next day, packing lunches and backpacks and put them in a central location for easy access, prep YOUR meals and set the coffee maker up so you have your dose of caffeine to get you rolling too!
  2. Be engaged- let your child and the school staff know you will be an involved caregiver! We use the term caregiver because we recognize that a lot of families may not fit a traditional mold of Mom and Dad and we know that love comes in all forms. Building a relationship with your child’s teacher and school staff will foster good relationship skills for your child and help ease the anxiety of a new teacher and new surroundings. Also being involved and this can come in many forms including volunteering in the classroom or a field trip and also monitoring homework and progress your child is making day-to-day.
  3. Safeguard your child during the day- is the school or after school day care equipped to manage a medical emergency? Is there an AED present and accessible? Does the staff know Pediatric CPR and can they perform it until additional emergency medical staff arrive? These are questions you should be asking if you are placing someone in the care of another – regardless if they are your children, parents or any other loved one.

CPR Choice can help you manage this step and we offer group classes on site! CPR Choice offers Pediatric & Adult Heartsaver CPR/AED & First Aid Training. Our Pediatric Heartsaver CPR/AED & First Aid Training provides childcare workers with the knowledge to respond to and manage illness and injuries to a child and/or infant in the fires few minutes before the emergency medical team arrives. It covers first aid skills such as finding the problem, stopping bleeding, bandaging and using an Epinephrine pen, as well as child CPR AED, infant CPR and optional modules in adult CPR AED, child mask, infant mask and Asthma Care Training for Child Care Providers.

We teach CPR & First Aid for daycares, private schools, gyms, churches, and childcare providers. Please contact us via email or phone 865-548-1500 for more info.

New Card/New Look

August 15, 2016 Travis Smith Uncategorized 0 Comments

In early 2016 the American Heart Association (AHA) rolled out new cards to indicate that students had taken the most recent guidelines that were introduced in 2015. The new cards are white and each disciple is differentiated through a colored stripe on the top of the card; BLS & Heartsaver (blue), ACLS (red), PALS & PEARS (purple). Also all cards should be copyright © 2015. Additional changes included microprint and highlighted personalization. The cards now have highlighted areas for name, issue date and renewal date. Tampering with these areas will alter the appearance of the card.

One major difference is the BLS provider card. The new 2015 BLS provider course replaces the BLS for Healthcare providers and BLS for pre-hospital provider courses. The new BLS course teaches both single rescuer and team BLS skills for providers within the hospital setting and those providing care out of the hospital. The new card simply states BLS Provider and the words Healthcare Provider have been removed.

Please review the official AHA card reference guide found here for questions and quality assurance.

2015 AHA CPR & ECC Guidelines Update

August 15, 2016 Travis Smith Uncategorized 0 Comments

Life is why - aha 2015 guidelinesEvery five years the American Heart Association does a major overhaul on their Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) guidelines. During these updates they share the latest science and discovery and make changes to the way we teach CPR classes. The latest update now includes new content such as team dynamics and administration of Naloxone.

The 2015 Guidelines Update for Healthcare providers adds a new perspective on systems of care, differentiating how providers handle in hospital cardiac arrests (IHCAs) from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs). The AHA now provides a different chain of survival dependent on where the cardiac arrest takes place. The BLS provider class now has two curriculums; one focused on pre-hospital care providers such as firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and off duty providers and in-hospital teams made up of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and code teams.

Other key changes to the curriculum include emphasis on chest compressions, chest compression rate and depth. Below are the new guidelines taken from the HIGHLIGHTS of the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC.

Emphasis on Chest Compressions

Untrained lay rescuers should provide compression-only (Hands-Only) CPR, with or without dispatcher guidance, for adult victims of cardiac arrest. The rescuer should continue compression-only CPR until the arrival of an AED or rescuers with additional training. All lay rescuers should, at a minimum, provide chest compressions for victims of cardiac arrest. In addition, if the trained lay rescuer is able to perform rescue breaths, he or she should add rescue breaths in a ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths. The rescuer should continue CPR until an AED arrives and is ready for use, EMS providers take over care of the victim, or the victim starts to move.

Chest Compression Rate

In adult victims of cardiac arrest, it isreasonable for rescuers to perform chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120/min. The number of chest compressions delivered per minute during CPR is an important determinant of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival with good neurologic function. The actual number of chest compressions delivered per minute is determined by the rate of chest compressions and the number and duration of interruptions in

Chest Compression Depth

During manual CPR, rescuers should perform chest compressions to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) for an average adult, while avoiding excessive chest compression depths (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm]). Compressions create blood flow primarily by increasing intrathoracic pressure and directly compressing the heart, which in turn results in critical blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart and brain. Rescuers often do not compress the chest deeply enough despite the recommendation to “push hard.” While a compression depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) is recommended, the 2015 Guidelines Update incorporates new evidence about the potential for an upper threshold of compression depth (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm]), beyond which complications may occur. Compression depth may be difficult to judge without use of feedback devices, and identification of upper limits of compression depth may be challenging. It is important for rescuers to know that the recommendation about the upper limit of compression depth is based on 1 very small study that reported an association between excessive compression depth and injuries that were not life-threatening. Most monitoring via CPR feedback devices suggests that compressions are more often too shallow than they are too deep.

AHA New CPR Guidelines!

October 16, 2015 Travis Smith Uncategorized 0 Comments

The new 2015 CPR guidelines have been released.

“The new rate of chest compressions is 100 to 120 compressions, or pushes, per minute, compared to “at least 100” in previous guidelines, according to the American Heart Association.

For adolescents and adults, a rescuer should push down at least 2 inches, but no more than 2.4 inches on the chest, compared to at least 2 inches in previous guidelines.”

Check out the full release here:

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


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.


Furniture Tip Overs

August 26, 2014 Travis Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health

This article is hard to write because it is forcing me to “own” my negligence as a parent and safety instructor. For those of you that don’t know me, I have been teaching CPR and First Aid classes for over 15 years. I have told students countless times that the first link in the chain of survival for kids is prevention. Majority of kids’ injuries and deaths can be prevented as they are caused by accidents. Children not in proper car restraints (which can mean the difference between life and death in an accident), choking on toys that aren’t age appropriate, drowning in the bathtub and poisonings are just a few of the many tragedies that could be prevented.

When I had my own kids, I read books regarding what to feed them, what to buy, how to get them to sleep through the night, and other safety articles. Regarding safety, much of what I read included car seat info, electrical outlet covers and cabinet locks. I do remember also reading about furniture restraints but thought it sounded a little like overkill. I try not to be an overprotective parent that wraps the entire house in bubble wrap; did they even have furniture restraints available when we were kids? We all made it, right? Well, I am now here to advise anyone with kids to restrain their furniture and TVs.


When my little boy was 4, he was trying to reach for something on the top of his dresser. He pulled out one of the bottom drawers and used it like a stair step and to his surprise the dresser came toppling over on him, giving him a big goose egg on his head (thankfully he was able to shimmy out from under it). I immediately told my husband that we needed to get the furniture mounted to the wall. His dresser had come with a kit so we immediately installed it. No more injuries. However, when this happened my little girl was only 2 and her dresser is older (mine from when I was a kid), so it doesn’t have any safety restraints. Due to the scare I immediately ordered some safety straps from Amazon and they were delivered two days later. Life gets busy though. The day they came in the mail, my husband went to install them but couldn’t find his stud finder. We put the kit on the tool bench and postponed the project until we could find the missing tool. Well, fast forward 2.5 years. Yep, that furniture mount never got installed and I am sure you can guess how this story is going to progress.

ReeseThis weekend I was in my bathroom when all of a sudden I heard a loud thud and my daughter screaming at the top of her lungs. I ran into her bedroom to find her laying on the floor with her dresser pinning her to the floor. She was trying to get something out of her top drawer and again used the bottom drawers like stairs.  Thankfully she was mostly unharmed. Her fall resulted in a bruised eye, as well as a swollen nose and lip. I am so glad that I was there to immediately help her but it really got me thinking of the things that could have happened. The dresser could have landed on her airway and suffocated her; I have read about this happening. It also could have easily broken her nose or ribs due to the weight falling on her. It also could have caused bad damage to her eye if the handle/knob would have hit her; she could have broken her teeth. The injuries could have been many; I feel blessed to be writing this with little to no injuries, but it really got me thinking.

How big of a problem is this? I mean, I’ve had dressers topple over on my own kids! My research confirms that this is a huge problem! Every 45 minutes, a child visits the ER because of a TV or piece of furniture tipping over on them. On average, every two weeks a child dies from an incident like this. EVERY TWO WEEKS!! The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 43,000 consumers are injured due to tip over accidents each year. Sadly, 80% of the fatalities are kids under the age of 10 with majority of injuries and deaths occurring in children 1-3. TVs and top heavy furniture are an issue in todays home. It’s something most parents don’t even think about. But securing your TV and furniture is an important part of “baby/kid-proofing” your home. recommends the following tips:

  • Assess the stability of the TVs in your home.
  • Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall to prevent them from toppling off stands. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you have a secure fit.
  • If you have a large, heavy, old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV, place it on a low, stable piece of furniture.
  • Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
  • Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.
  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Avoid placing remote controls, food, toys or other items in places where babies might be tempted to climb up or reach for them.

While looking into the statistics I came across a blog with the most horrifying story.  When little Megan Beck was only 3 years old a dresser fell on her and killed her from asphyxiation within minutes.   I beg you all to watch her story here!  It is going to be a tear-jerker but I am thanking God that I am not writing the blog post that her mom wrote.  However, I can help raise awareness.  I am pleading with you to anchor your furniture to the wall or floor.  Megan’s mom said, “Tragically, her death was preventable, for if we had secured her dresser to the wall, she would be with us today.  A few dollars and about 20 minutes would have saved her life. Instead of putting a few holes in our walls and furniture, we forever have one in our hearts that will never heal.  Walls can be fixed, broken hearts cannot.” I am happy to report that we have tied down all of our heavy furniture/TVs.  Please do not let this happen to you.  You can find furniture/TV straps at your local retailer or here on Amazon.  Spend the few dollars and minutes.  Take this safety quiz! Anchor it and Protect a Child! protect a child

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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