BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – On Day Two of National EMS Week, the Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) is encouraging all citizens, from paramedics to children in a classroom, to learn more about emergency medical services. 

On its Facebook page, BRFD directs interested individuals to the American Red Cross, which offers a variety of classes – online and in-person- to help participants become familiar with emergency medicine. 

One course that many choose to take is Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

CPR can be used to save someone’s life if they’re suffering from a cardiac or breathing emergency. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one does not need special certification or formal training to perform CPR, they only need to know what to do. 

The CDC says that if someone is suffering from cardiac arrest, a bystander can help by following the three steps listed below: 

Call 9-1-1 immediately. -If anyone else is nearby, save time by asking them to call 9-1-1 and look for an automated external defibrillator (AED) while you begin CPR. AEDs are portable machines that can electrically shock the heart, causing it to start beating again.

Provide CPR. To do this, push down hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute and let the chest come back up to its normal position after each push. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends timing your pushes to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive.” This method of CPR is called “hands-only” and does not involve breathing into the person’s mouth.

Continue giving CPR until medical professionals arrive or until a person with formal CPR training can take over.

Click here for more information on CPR.