Basic Life Support: Would you Benefit from a Certification?

BLS Certification Courses in Concord and Walnut Creek

Sample BLS card

A medical emergency can happen anytime, anyplace, to anyone. Cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in the world. Would taking a Basic Life Saving, or BLS, class be beneficial for you? And if you determine it would be beneficial, which class should you choose?

A basic life saving class will teach you how to react calmly and correctly in the event that you are present when someone is choking, when they have a pulse but aren’t breathing, or when a person is pulseless and not breathing. Unfortunately, these type of emergencies happen daily. Fortunately, a BLS class will prepare you to respond to such an event and possibly save a life. Many jobs also require a BLS certification, such as nurse’s assistants, childcare providers, and lifeguards. Even if a job doesn’t require a BLS certification, it may pay slightly better with a certification.

Many options are available for BLS classes. Hospitals usually have classes certified by the American Heart Association. Two types of BLS classes are usually offered. The healthcare provider courses are only recommended for nurses and other healthcare professionals, and are often more expensive than the BLS class for the general public. Hospitals and other institutions often offer two types of courses for non-healthcare professionals: the adult BLS and the pediatric BLS. The pediatric BLS courses are geared at daycare workers, teachers and other child-care providers, and when offered through a hospital usually meet federal guidelines for child-care provider certification.  Please make sure you register for the correct class, and if you have any questions contact registration for further information.  Online options are also available, but it is generally recommended that online courses not be taken by individuals seeking certification for the first time, as the hands-on learning in the classroom is invaluable.  Online courses can be a good option for recertification, but make sure they are Red Cross and AHA certified.

Booklets have been released by the AHA and Red Cross you can use to prepare for the class. It is recommended that these be read before attending the class, because it is important to be familiar with the material. Most people who prepare for the courses with printed materials score higher on average and feel much more comfortable with their level of preparedness in actual emergency situations.

Expect to spend about 3-4 hours in a BLS class, and make sure you allot this amount of time, as students are usually not released early. It is a good idea to study before taking the BLS course since there is a 25 question written test. View a BLS Study Guide here. Wear comfortable clothing because you will have to perform CPR on a mannequin during a skills check-off. Bring a government issued identification card, as this will be needed to verify your identity and register you as certified. You should receive a certification card upon successful completion of the course.

A basic life saving skills course can prepare you for those critical minutes between the onset of a life-threatening event and the arrival of emergency personnel. You owe it to your family, friends and coworkers to get certified. It just may save a life.

Register today for an American Heart Association BLS Renewal Class in Concord. Or call us at 925-691-9780


New CPR Guidelines from the American Heart Association

San Ramon CPR Classes

The American Heart Association Announces New CPR Guidelines
No more A-B-C’s –  Now it’s C-A-B

For more than 40 years, we’ve learned the ABC’s of CPR – Airway, Breathing and Compressions. Now, in the new 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR, the American Heart Association in San Francisco recommends C-A-B, Compressions, Airway and Breathing. The new C-A-B sequence allows rescuers to start with the simplest step, chest compressions, and helps to remove barriers to starting CPR immediately. The American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR continue to emphasize high-quality CPR, focusing on delivering effective chest compressions with minimal interruptions.

Many of the changes and recommendations included in the new CPR guidelines are designed to simplify CPR and increase bystander response, ultimately saving more lives. In several recent studies it was determined that a stranger is much more apt to preform CPR on someone they do not know if mouth-to-mouth is not expected of them. Some additional key changes include:

  • A new recommended CPR compression depth of at least 2 inches
  • A new recommended CPR compression rate of at least 100 beats per minute
  • The elimination of “look, listen and feel for breathing”
  • The continued recommendation that untrained rescuers provide Hands-Only CPR
  • New protocols for EMS activation and first-aid training
  • And several more amendments to the old guidelines

Safety Training Seminars of Concord  sent all of their instructors to the 2010 American Heart Association Update Conference during the month of November. It usually takes 6-9 months to update all our instructors and for the certifying agencies to update their training materials, DVDs, and books, but we are now all updated with the new material.  Safety Training Seminars of Concord is committed to making sure CPR in the Bay Area is up to date on these new CPR guidelines.

Concord CPR Classes


First-aid Safety in the Car for Contra Costa County Drivers

Basic Winter Safety Checks for Your Car 

The cold weather is here, and winter weather makes for some very harsh driving conditions. When you’re out on the road, you need to protect yourself from the snow, ice, sleet, and blistery winds that could affect your car and your driving. During the next few months, many motorists will be driving from Concord to the snow in Tahoe. Now is the time to perform some basic winter safety checks on your car; don’t wait, or you may find yourself in a dangerous driving situation.


When snow and ice affect the roadways, you need to have sufficient treads on your tires to handle slick driving conditions. If the depth of your tire treads is less than 1/8 of an inch, you should replace your tires for optimal safety. The cold weather can also cause your tires to lose pressure, so make sure that your tires are properly inflated.

Windshield Wipers

If you get caught in a snowstorm, your windshield wipers will help clear the snow and debris that will decrease visibility. If you need new wiper blades, the winter is the time to replace them.


Make sure you have the proper levels of fluids in your car, including motor oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Check to ensure that the antifreeze in the radiator is full and half-mixed with water. Check you windshield wiper fluid, which will help keep your windshield clear (wiper fluid doesn’t freeze). You should always have a full tank of gasoline, too, so that you’re still able to run the heat if your car breaks down or you become stranded.

Emergency Supplies

There are several emergency supplies that are good to keep in your car year-round, including an American Red Cross first-aid kit, jumper cables, flares or reflectors, bottled water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a charger for your cell phone, and a properly-inflated spare tire, jack, and tire wrench. Also, in case you run into an accident, it is a good idea to take an American Heart Association CPR & First-aid Class in Contra Costa County.

First-aid Safety Kit by the American Red Cross

Carry a First-aid Kit in your car.

During the winter, there are several other items you should add to your trunk. You should have a windshield scraper, a small ice shovel, de-icer spray, sand or kitty litter to use for traction, tire chains, and enough blankets, hats, and gloves for each person travelling in your car.

Regular Maintenance

If your car is due for maintenance, don’t delay in taking it to the shop. Staying up-to-date with your car’s service will keep your car in good shape, and the winter is the worst time to get stuck with a broken-down car.

Remember that no matter how thoroughly you’ve checked your car to prepare for winter driving conditions, the most important safety tip is to stay off the roads in bad weather. Careful, responsible driving is what will keep you and your family safe, and it’s better to stay home than take a driving risk.

Take A First-aid class and learn how to help in an emergency: 925-691-9780