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.


On-Site CPR Training for Businesses

September 11, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

Businesses are continuing to recognize the importance of convenience for their customers and potential customers!   Whether it is shopping online, having items delivered to us at home or at our place of employment- we are all looking for ways to save time.  CPR Choice strives to offer just that – CONVENIENCE!  We can arrange classes in your home or office.  We teach for hundreds of gyms, medical offices, daycares, manufacturers, construction companies and more EVERY YEAR.  Make sure that you are OSHA compliant!


Information About CPR Training

On our websites, there are a couple of links available “Calendar & Registration” and “On Site Group Training“.  The “Calendar & Registration” tabs provide a description of all the types of training available, as well as a calendar of scheduled classes.   We offer a variety of locations across Knoxville, Maryville and the Tri-Cities. We can also offer on-site trainings customized to fit your needs and more information is available under the “On Site Group Training” link.   After clicking on this link, there are some specific instructions on how to schedule and customize a group on-site training class.

Classes Offered for Businesses

  • Adult/Child/Infant CPR
  • First Aid
  • AED training
  • Pediatric CPR & First Aid
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
  • Heartsaver CPR & AED

Convenience is the KEY

CPR Choice provides all the training materials (manikins, AED Trainer, Videos, CPR Cards, etc.), absolutely no inconvenience to the client. Group and Onsite CPR trainings are designed to be as simple and easy for the client as possible. We cater your needs!  Do you have several different shifts, including nights and weekends?  We will accommodate!

We would love to speak to you more about CPR Choice and our on-site CPR training.  Please contact Cheryl Smith at to schedule an on-site group class at your location or visit our website to register for a class as an individual at one of our many locations. Learn more about us: CPR Choice, LLC

Sometimes Big Things Happen to Little People!

September 10, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, Choking, CPR


School is in session and schedules are back on track!  I love summer, but I also love the feel of fall and the feeling of settling back into a routine.  As we head back to school, daycare, or private schools we need to be diligent that our caregivers have adequate Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Training.

CPR Choice offers Pediatric Heartsaver CPR/AED & First Aid training.  The course is designed to meet the regulatory requirements for childcare workers in all 50 United States. It teaches childcare providers and others to respond to and manage illnesses and injuries in a child or infant in the first few minutes until professional help 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.

Course Content includes:

  • Pediatric CPR AED and chokingdaycare cpr
  • CPR and AED for children
  • How to help a choking child
  • CPR for infants
  • How to help a choking infant
  • CPR and AED for adults (optional)
  • How to help a choking
  • Pediatric first aid basics
  • Illnesses and injuries
  • Bleeding and bandaging
  • Allergic reactions
  • How to use an epinephrine pen
  • Asthma
  • Drowning
  • Bites and stings
  • Burns

This class is offered by request only. 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.


Do you have a Heart Healthy Workplace?

September 10, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR Training, Disease Prevention, Heart Health

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans?  In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds.  Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Knoxville’s Heart Walk is September 28th and is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives.  Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.  Sign up by clicking the banner below.


People spend at least 40% of their waking hours on the job.  Corporate wellness programs are becoming the norm and the obvious benefits to helping workers get healthy and stay healthy is good for the employees, their families and business.  The American Heart Association, AHA, recommends an incremental approach to companies considering starting a wellness program.  Wellness programs should include a concentrated focus on the following:

  • Smoking cessation or preventioncpr classes
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Managing and reducing stress
  • Promoting healthy eating
  • Managing weight
  • Educating workers about cardiovascular disease, including how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibulator (AED).

I challenge you to start or join a wellness program at your work, including educating your coworkers and staff on how to perform CPR in the event of an emergency.  Remember, CPR Choice can offer onsite CPR and AED training for your place of business and we can accommodate almost any schedule.  Reach out today to schedule a group onsite class.

Mark your calendar for Knoxville’s Heart Walk.  Walk with friends, family, coworkers or strangers- your heart will thank you!


CPR-Large Crowds, Know What To Do??

September 4, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, First Aid

UT football

It’s football time in Tennessee!  We love this time of year- football games, bon fires, corn mazes and the approaching colors of fall.  Our, University of Tennessee, football season opener was sold out on Sunday, August 31st and with over 100,000 people in the stands I always wonder who’s prepared to help in the event of a cardiac emergency.

According to the American Heart Association, less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims are administered immediate CPR from bystanders. Usually this is because people are untrained or do not feel comfortable putting their mouth on a stranger’s mouth.  However, the window of opportunity is four to six minutes.  Someone must act before it’s too late!  If a family member, friend or infant had a cardiac or first aid emergency could you respond appropriately?  Here are some things that you could do:

  • Immediately have someone call 911.  Try to give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 60 years old, experiencing chest pain, we are in section 110, row 5”
  • Tell someone to get the AED.  Neyland Stadium has 4 AEDs in each of their first aid stations.  The stations are staffed by medical doctors, nurses and other qualified personnel. Trained first-aid teams are also located throughout the stadium.  For a map of the stations, click on the link above.
  • 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

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a proven life saver!  When someone goes into cardiac arrest it prevents blood and oxygen from entering the brain and heart.  Time is precious and knowing CPR will allow the victim extra time until the emergency medical response team (911) arrives.  If you can begin CPR when someone becomes unconscious you add valuable minutes to their life and may be able to keep them alive until more advanced personnel arrive.

Orange Knoxville cpr

Get informed, devote the time, and equip yourself with the skills to help save a life.   CPR Choice offers a variety of classes and can accommodate almost any schedule. Enroll in a class today, someone’s life may depend on it!

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

Airway Obstruction in Infants

May 23, 2014 Cheryl Smith Children's Health, Choking, CPR

Avoiding Airway Obstruction in Infants

How can you make your home a safer place for your infant and take steps to avoiding airway obstruction?

  • Check toys to make sure they’re age appropriate and don’t have small parts that could be swallowed by an infant.
  • Check toys regularly for damage
  • Avoid using infant seats, car seats, strollers, carriers, or swings for regular naps and beds.  These things could put infants in a position where their heads could fall leading to airway obstruction.
  • Avoid any loose bedding, pillows, or soft objects in the crib or bassinet.
  • Avoid over bundling, overdressing or covering an infant’s face or head.
  • Avoid using wedges or other positioners for sleeping
  • Avoid sharing your bed with your infant; they are less likely to suffocate in a crib or bassinet.
  • Use a firm mattress for infant, anything to soft like a couch should not be used as a bed an infant.
  • Place infants on their backs to sleep.
  • Immunizing infants and breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Always supervise young children while they’re eating.
  • Avoid small food that could be a choking hazard for infants such as, popcorn, marshmallows, hard candy, chewing gum, raw carrots and apples to name a few.

Should an infant’s airway become obstructed act quickly.  If the child is coughing, allow the child to cough and monitor.  If coughing becomes ineffective assess the child’s conscious level.


For infants under 1:

  • If the child is conscience give up to five back blows followed by five chest thrusts.  In a seated position, support the infant at the jaw and tip them in a head-downwards position to let gravity aid in removing the object.
  • Deliver 5 sharp blows with the heel of your hand to the middle of the back (in-between the shoulder blades)
  • Check to see if the item has been dislodged, if not continue the blows up to 5 times.
  • After 5 unsuccessful blows begin chest thrusts. Support the infant in a head-down, face up position. Deliver five thrusts; these are similar to CPR chests thrusts but slower and sharper.
  • If child becomes unconscious lay the child down and look for the object in their mouth, if you can see it and remove it try to do so with the sweep of your finger.
  • If again unsuccessful begin CPR

For more information on airway obstruction visit our website or take a CPR class.  We offer infant and child CPR classes in Knoxville & Maryville!  Sign up for the American Heart Association (AHA) Heartsaver CPR class today!



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!"

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