Online CPR Scams

Online CPR Scams

Buyer Beware of Online CPR Scams

A public service announcement provided by the Health & Safety Institute. We invite you to share a link to this page from your website to educate all first responders about this unfortunate practice.

They’re everywhere on the Internet: seemingly legitimate organizations offering “instant” CPR or first aid certification for busy people who are required to hold current certification. And it often says right on those websites that online-only CPR or first aid certification is “nationally accepted“. It is not. No major nationally recognized training program in the United States endorses certification without practice and evaluation of hands-on skills.

What to Avoid When Shopping Online for Training
Common buzzwords and phrases to look for:

  • Online CPR cards, download instantly
  • Download your certification card right after finishing your course
  • No hands-on skills required
  • 100% online
  • Immediate certificate or wallet card
  • Have your card/be certified today
  • Nationally validated, nationally recognized = there is no nationally accrediting or governing body for emergency care training
  • Full refund if not accepted

Blended Learning Is Not Online-Only Learning

Blended learning is a training delivery model that combines online course content with in-person, hands-on skills evaluation. Online-only training features no hands-on component.

For More Information on these scam sites please visit the following link.

Take Action!

File a Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet,  radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears. Complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice and put an end to unfair and misleading business practices.

If you have a complaint, file it online at or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The Simple Act That Could Save a Life

The Simple Act That Could Save a Life

Unresponsive, Unconscious? Intoxicated, Passed Out and Vomiting?

If you are reading this and you are worried about someone? Is the person?
  1. Unresponsive?  Call 911
  2. Unconscious?  Call 911

    If you don’t do something then you get to live with the consequences…just saying.

Now to the educational part of this post.

When someone becomes ill or even violently ill due to over indulgence, this can become a very serious medical situation. Every year thousands of people die, or become seriously ill from suffocation, or choking due to aspirating their own emesis or as we commonly call it, vomit.

We all know how this happens; college parties, adult parties, birthday parties, or just plain old “had too much”!

If you haven’t seen the YouTube videos of the “Drunk Girl” or “Drunk Guy” circulating on the internet (believe me they are out there by the tens of thousands) almost every single one of them feature some person positioning that poor  “Drunk Guy” or “Drunk Girl” on their back to simply let them sleep it off while they stack beer bottles on them, or give them a nice face paint job! Then they leave them there until they sober up, which is funny at first, but when morning comes the “face painted buttress of beer cans” victim is dead!

All of a sudden the parties over, and tragically just didn’t need to happen.

First, acute alcohol intoxication or alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency! Anytime someone is unresponsive you should call 911.

Acute alcohol intoxication or alcohol poisoning can occur after the ingestion of a large amount of alcohol. Inexperienced drinkers, or those sensitive to alcohol, may become acutely intoxicated and suffer serious consequences after ingesting smaller amounts of alcohol.

When ingested in larger quantities; alcohol slows body functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. When alcohol significantly depresses these vital centers; unconsciousness results and this is one step away from coma, and possible death.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Repeated episodes of vomiting.
  • Unconsciousness or semi-consciousness.
  • Slowed or irregular breathing. Slow respiration; eight or less breaths per minute, or lapses of more than 10 seconds.
  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin.
  • Vomiting while “sleeping” or passed out, and not waking up after vomiting.

Appropriate and simple act that could save a life!

If a person exhibits one or more of these symptoms, we recommend that you call 911. This is a medical emergency!

While waiting for medical transport, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person’s back. This is important to prevent aspiration should the person vomit. Stay with the person until medical help arrives.

This Technique developed by John Haines is called the H.A.IN.E.S Recovery Position.


Warning: Once the casualty is placed into the H.A.IN.E.S. Recovery Position, use airway maneuvers such as ‘Jaw Thrust’ (lifting the jaw ‘forward’ and upward, whilst avoiding pressure on the neck) first. This is in preference to a head tilt in order to further reduce movement to the neck.

* ‘How should an unconscious person with a suspected neck injury be positioned?’ – B. Gunn et. Al ‘Prehospital & Disaster Medicine’ – Vol 10, No: 4 Oct-Dec 1995. ‘The position of the spine in the recovery position – an experimental comparison between the lateral recovery position and the modified HAINES position’ – W. Blake ‘Resuscitation’; Vol 53; Issue 3; June 2002.

The above instructions are FREE for public access & use.

Intoxicated persons should be evaluated by a professional if:

  • Person is unable to stand or walk, or can only do so with difficulty.
  • Person is only poorly aware of his or her surroundings.
  • Person has difficulty breathing.
  • Person has passed out or is stuporous.
  • Person has fever or chills.
  • Person has difficulty speaking or identifying him/herself to others.
  • Person is obnoxious or unruly.
  • Person is reported to have consumed a large quantity of alcohol, or chugged, or ingested other sedating or tranquilizing drugs.
If an individual is not showing the above symptoms at this point, consider if the following three conditions are met:
  • Person is conscious, alert, and appears to understand the risks of the situation.
  • Person can state his or her name, class, and address.
  • Person is able to stand or walk without assistance, although speech may be slurred.

Then the following steps are beneficial:

  • Get the person to bed.
  • Place them on their side (H.A.IN.ES Position) with a pillow in the small of their back.
  • Someone needs to be checking in on them every 10-15 minutes for the remainder of the night.


Thank You to John Haines and Australian First Aid

What First Aid, CPR – AED Class Do I Need?

What First Aid, CPR – AED Class Do I Need?

Wait, What!?

You would think that this question “What First Aid, CPR/AED Class Do I Need?” would be fairly straight forward, but considering that many individuals are seeing the value of emergency medical response classes and seeking a class for the first time, or maybe there is an employer who has tasked a well meaning co-worker with finding a class for the team; it can all get a bit overwhelming!

There are a myriad of options and providers, and of course everyone has a program to sell, but our goal is to simplify the process and give you as much of an unbiased opinion as possible.

Let’s break it down.


As far as Northwest Response is concerned (slightly biased) there are three trusted providers in Health & Safety Training on a national scale: The American Red Cross,  ASHI/HSI-Medic, and AHA (The American Heart Association). All of these programs are partner to the OSHA Alliance, and are accepted Nationally.

The next questions you should ask:

Will the program work for me? Is it what I want to learn? What program has our team used in the past? What program does my employer require?

Some employers want a specific provider such as The American Red Cross, HSI-Medic, ASHI, or AHA, so the first step is to  find out which program the employer wants to utilize, then move on to the options below to determine what class is the best one to fulfill your specific needs.

Note: If you are just wanting to learn “how to respond” then take any Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training course that is both convenient, and fits your budget. And, be sure to do your homework on the “provider/trainer’s” qualifications.


There are basically only a few levels of First Aid, CPR/AED training classes, and Northwest Response covers the entire spectrum. Below are all of the classes that Northwest Response offers, but if you need an AHA class; please visit the AHA website after you have read this post (link provided below).

Northwest Response Offerings:

  • Red Cross CPR/AED Training
  • Red Cross Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training
  • HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED
  • Red Cross Pediatric and Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training
  • Red Cross CPRO- CPR/AED & First Aid for The Professional Responder & Healthcare Providers.
  • Red Cross Bloodborne Pathogen Training
  • HSI-Medic Bloodborne Pathogen Training
Confused? Don’t be, lets break it down one more level.

This next set of answers should cover all you need to know about “First Aid/CPR/AED” training, and what class you need.

All I need or want is CPR:
  • Take The American Red Cross –  Northwest Response CPR/AED Training Class
  • Northwest Response HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED Class
My job requires me to have a “basic” First Aid, CPR/AED card, and/or I just want to be able to respond to medical emergencies.
  • Take either the American Red Cross – Northwest Response Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training, or
  • Northwest Response HSI-Medic Basic Plus Adult First Aid, CPR, AED Class
I work with children, have children, or want to know how to care for children.
  • Take the American Red Cross – Northwest Response Pediatric and Adult First Aid, CPR/AED Training Class
I am a Professional. I work in Healthcare or I’m a Professional Responder i.e. LE- Law Enforcement, EMT, Firemen, Nurse, CNA, Care Giver, Dental Assistant, etc.
  • Take The American Red Cross – CPRO- CPR/AED & First Aid for The Professional Responder & Healthcare Providers.
  • AHA BLS which NWR does NOT offer at this time.
I’m required to have Bloodborne Pathogens Training as part of my job.
  • Take either The American Red Cross – Northwest Response Bloodborne Pathogen Training, or
  • Northwest Response – HSI-Medic Bloodborne Pathogen Training Class.

That’s pretty much it. Really.

If you have a more advanced need such as EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) then please drop us a line from our contact page.

Words of advice:

Some companies train to comply.  Some companies train Responders. Here at Northwest Response we train Responders. Please do your homework!  Check references, read testimonials, ask questions, and when you feel confident in the trainer you have selected; book that class!

The training you or your staff receive could mean the difference between life and death, literally.

We hope that the above helped to solve some of your provider and class questions.  If you still have questions, we are here to answer them.  Call us during business hours, or drop us a line from our contact page, and we will be happy to assist you to become a “First Responder.”

Additional Link:


Recreational Boater First Aid, CPR/AED classes at CWB Seattle

Recreational Boater First Aid, CPR/AED classes at CWB Seattle

Recreational Boater First Aid at CWB Seattle

One of the challenges in “First Aid” training for the recreational boater and/or avid sailor is that you have generic classes and hybrid classes with not much in-between. The generic classes leave you wanting, and the hybrid classes could cost you thousands of dollars. A MedPic class is certainly worth it, but nonetheless pricy.

Modern First Aid classes for the lay responder have been watered down to the point that why even bother. You can learn all of that from a YouTube video, and a good EMR (emergency medical response) book. Presently, the “Big Two Provider” classes are video driven, coma inducing, canned presentations that leave you saying; okay, I can do CPR, but what about the rest of it?

Finding a medium ground emergency medical response training course for the boater has been on the forefront of our minds here at Northwest Response for some time now.

The Northwest Response cadre is comprised of Professional Healthcare providers, EMR’s, EMT’s, Emergency Department Nurses and Technicians. We are also sailors, Captains, Coast Guard Active Duty, USCG transitioning and USCG Auxilarists, and STCW trainers. Some of us even teach the OUPV (six-Pack) through Master Mariner 100 Ton courses, and we hear ya!

Over the past year we have been fine-tuning a hybrid mariner centric emergency medical response course that you can actually use. We hit the tough stuff, the scary stuff, the #OMG stuff, but when you walk out of this class you will feel empowered and confident to really respond. This is new ground!

We are very proud to debut “The Mariner Emergency Medical Response Course” in Seattle at the New Wagner Education Center at the Center for Wooden Boats on the shore of Lake Union.

This Course is presented by Northwest Response and Captain Thomas E. Bliss, and approved by The United States Coast Guard for OUPV – Master Mariner.

Additional Approvals: Washington State L&I (Labor & Industry), and OSHA.

This course is not intended for those seeking STCW First Aid Certification.

To Learn More About The Course Content Please Click Here

About Your Instructor 

Captain Bliss is a Licensed USCG Master Mariner and self-described “Safety Nerd” who logs approximately 2800 hours a year in various safety training courses from BT (formerly BST), Emergency Medical Responder, complex SAR (Search and Rescue) training courses and Fast Rescue Boat OTW operations. 

He is a former Assistant Director for Fremont Maritime Services/India Tango where he specialized in Maritime Safety and Response Training, and as a cold water survival expert; Thomas has traveled to the far reaches of the planet including the Beaufort Sea, 270 miles north of the Arctic Circle to teach cold water survival to seismic ship-board exploration crews. 

For the past twenty seven (27) years, Thomas has resided in the Maritime Community of Gig Harbor, Washington where he continues to serve with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary as a COXSWAIN, Flotilla Commander for the Bremerton Flotilla 4-5, and USCG AUX Gig Harbor Detachment Leader. He also served as a Flotilla Staff Officer in Communications (SO-CS) in the 13th Coast Guard District.

Thomas dedicates his time not only to educate professional mariners which includes a career highlight of completing essential shipboard Emergency Medical Response training to the crew of the newly christened 269′ National Geographic, Lindbald Expedition vessel “Venture“, but also to community recreational boating education.

He is the Founder and Director of Northwest Response (NWR); a Lay-Responder Medical Training Enterprise which is an Event Stand-by EMS service that provides care and medical coverage to thousands of event patrons from marathons, music festivals, and private corporate events. NWR also specializes in on-site First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogen, Asbestos Training as well as providing various companies the L&I required certification for Respiratory Fit Testing.

Captain Bliss is very proud to work with Destiny Harbor Tours providing fantastic “on the water” sightseeing tours in the South Puget Sound. Destiny also provides water Taxi Service for the University of Washington Husky Games ferrying fans from their boats to the stadium and back again for home games.

Thomas is indeed a “safety nerd” with a great respect and knowledge for all things relating to survival whether on land or on the water!



What does a seizure look like, and what to do.

What does a seizure look like, and what to do.

Signals of seizures include:

  • A blank stare.
  • A period of distorted sensation during which the person is unable to respond.
  • Uncontrolled muscular contractions, called convulsions, which last several minutes.

A person with epilepsy may experience something called an aura before the seizure occurs. An aura is an unusual sensation or feeling, such as a visual hallucination; strange sound, taste or smell; or an urgent need to get to safety. If the person recognizes the aura, he or she may have time to tell bystanders and sit down before the seizure occurs. Febrile seizures may have some or all of the following signals:

  • Sudden rise in body temperature
  • Change in consciousness
  • Rhythmic jerking of the head and limbs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Crying out
  • Becoming rigid
  • Holding breath
  • Upward rolling of the eyes Although it may be frightening to see someone unexpectedly having a seizure, you should remember that most seizures last only for a few minutes and the person usually recovers without problems.

When to Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if:

  • The seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
  • The person has multiple seizures with no signs of slowing down.
  • The person appears to be injured or fails to regain consciousness after the seizure.
  • The cause of the seizure is unknown.
  • The person is pregnant.
  • The person has diabetes.
  • The person is a young child or an infant and experienced a febrile seizure brought on by a high fever.
  • The seizure takes place in water.
  • The person is elderly and could have suffered a stroke.
  • This is the person’s first seizure.
  • If the person is known to have occasional seizures, you may not have to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. He or she usually will recover from a seizure in a few minutes.

What to Do Until Help Arrives

Although it may be frightening to watch, you can easily help to care for a person having a seizure. Remember that he or she cannot control the seizure. Do not try to stop the seizure. General principles of managing a seizure are to prevent injury, protect the person’s airway and make sure that the airway is open after the seizure has ended.

  • Do not hold or restrain the person.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth or between the teeth.

People having seizures rarely bite their tongues or cheeks with enough force to cause significant bleeding; however, some blood may be present.

  • Make sure that the environment is as safe as possible to prevent injury to the person who is having a seizure.
  • Remove any nearby furniture or other objects that may injure the person.
  • Give care to a person who has had a seizure the same way you would for an unconscious person.
  • When the seizure is over, make sure that the person’s airway is open. Usually, the person will begin to breathe normally.
  • If there is fluid in the person’s mouth, such as saliva, blood or vomit, roll him or her on one side so that the fluid drains from the mouth.
  • If the child or infant has a febrile seizure, it is important to immediately cool the body by giving a sponge bath with lukewarm water.
  • The person may be drowsy and disoriented or unresponsive for a period of time.
  • Check to see if he or she was injured during the seizure.

Be comforting and reassuring. If the seizure occurred in public, the person may be embarrassed and self-conscious. Ask bystanders not to crowd around the person. He or she may be tired and want to rest. Stay on the scene with the person until he or she is fully conscious and aware of the surroundings. For more information on epilepsy, visit the Epilepsy Foundation at

Where is the nearest AED? (Automated External Defibrillator)

Where is the nearest AED? (Automated External Defibrillator)

Where is the AED in your neighborhood?

Citizen responders have been using AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) combined with quality CPR to save thousands of lives each year around the globe.  Every week I read another story about ordinary people doing the extraordinary in saving the life of a loved one, friend, coworker and stranger using publicly accessible AEDs combined with CPR.

The Cardiac Chain of Survival is simple:

  1. Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  2. Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  3. Rapid defibrillation
  4. Effective advanced life support
  5. Integrated post-cardiac arrest care
The problem with any chain is its weakest link, and in way too many cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest; the weak link is the lack of access to an AED.  Surviving a Sudden Cardiac arrest depends on the Cardiac Chain of Survival.

It’s a numbers game for surviving an SCA, and for every minute that goes by, the chances of survival drop by 10%. Survival varies widely among communities, yet overall averages around 8% in the U.S.  Implementing a system of care including early recognition, 9-1-1 CPR instructions, early defibrillation, and high-quality professional CPR, along with guideline-based, post-arrest care could save as many as half of these victims.

Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time.  Rural communities especially need to address these needs as response time is critical.  How long before EMS reaches your home or office?

“Nearly 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually.
88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.
Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.”

Automated External Defibrillators have yet to catch on with the average homeowner or small business office, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one nearby.  Take the time to learn where there are.  Grocery stores, schools, the neighbor, the local library, many public and private homes and offices now have AEDs as part of their emergency preparedness programs.

AEDs in the home, AEDs in the office, AEDs in your neighborhood; it’s a no brainer!  The cost of ownership has been drastically reduced to less than the price of a new Flat Screen TV, and if everyone on your block, office floor, or apartment building chipped in to purchase this potentially life saving device, the cost of ownership becomes negligible, because saving a life is priceless!

Comment below if you know
where your local AED is. 
Share your knowledge; it could save a life!