Bystander CPR/AED Training Initiative

This program was made possible through a grant from Illinois Heart Rescue and Swedish Hospital Foundation.

Bystander CPR is a critical link in the chain of survival. Studies show that for every minute of delay before starting CPR, survival decreases 10%. As the minutes tick by, the likelihood of a victim dying or suffering permanent brain damage increases. Waiting for an ambulance is not an option.

Watch a short video on how to respond if someone is in cardiac arrest:

Hands-Only CPR Step-by-Step Instructions

    1. Survey the Scene

    • Look at what’s going on around you. Is it safe for you to help them?
    • Try to wake up the victim and check if they’re breathing.
    • If they do not respond, call 911.
    • If they are not breathing, begin chest compressions.

    2. Begin Chest Compressions

    • Position the heel of your hand in the center of the victim’s chest, at the breastbone.
    • Place your other hand on top of the first and interlace your fingers.
    • With your shoulders above your hands and your arms straight, push down hard and fast.
    • Compress the chest at least two inches and let it completely rise before pushing down again.
    • To deliver compressions at the correct speed (100-120 per minute) consider a familiar song at the same tempo, such as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

    3. Continue Chest Compressions Until…

    • The victim begins to breathe.
    • Another trained individual can take over.
    • Emergency specialists arrive and take over.
    • You become too exhausted to continue delivering compressions.
    • An AED has been prepared.
    • You feel your safety is threatened.

If other bystanders are available, you can coach them to take over compressions when you need to take a break. It is important to keep the same rhythm (without any breaks or delays) once compressions have begun.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

  • An AED is a portable device that can deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
  • If an AED is available, continue compressions until it is prepared for application.
  • After turning on the AED, audio prompts will provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the device.
View our printable Bystander CPR/AED Overview Flier>>  

Schedule a Training Session

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Bystander CPR/AED Training Session

Learn about the importance of "hands-only" CPR and how to respond in an emergency situation at a free public session.

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Our Press Release

An ambitious program to help save lives by bringing free CPR/AED training to the community.

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