In honor of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Month, Health & Safety Institute (HSI) has created a public service announcement website to educate the public about the prevalence of fraudulent online CPR training and the public health and safety risk that results from responders inadequately prepared to administer these lifesaving techniques.
As found on the the site at www.OnlineOnlyCPRFirstAidSham.com, HSI points out that no major nationally recognized training program in the United States endorses certification in CPR, first aid, or professional-level resuscitation without hands-on skill practice and evaluation by a qualified instructor. Yet consumers can easily find websites that offer “instant CPR and first aid certification” which feature online-only CPR and first aid “courses” or “exams” that “meet requirements” and which have no hands-on skill practice or evaluation component.
In August 2012, HSI Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Ralph Shenefelt requested a Letter of Interpretation (LOI) from the OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs for a clarification of OSHA's standards pertaining to basic first aid and CPR. When asked whether OSHA considers online-only training acceptable for meeting the intent of the basic first aid and CPR requirements of OSHA standards at 29 CFR 1910.151, 1910.146, 1910.266, 1910.269, 1910.410, and 1926.950, the government agency’s response was that “online training alone would not meet the requirements of these training standards.
Mr. Shenefelt's summary of the OSHA interpretation and in-depth assessment of this topic is documented in the April 2013 issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine in “Unmasking the Certification Mill Problem.”
The HSI public service announcement website has additional supporting evidence from other national training bodies such as the American Heart Association, the National Safety Council, and the American Red Cross to make a case against these online-only training offerings. The site provides consumers a list of “trigger words” to avoid when shopping for training using the Internet, a list of reputable producers and providers of CPR training, and clarification concerning the difference between “online-only” and “blended learning” training, which features a combination of online content with a practical hands-on skill session. The site also includes a link to the Federal Trade Commission and a tutorial on how to file a claim for fraudulent advertising.
“We felt it was important to help training consumers understand that these online-only offers will not meet their workplace requirements for first aid and resuscitation training, and to raise awareness that reading about CPR is not the same as learning to perform it from a qualified instructor,” explains HSI CEO Bill Clendenen. “The wide-spread promotion of compression-only CPR has removed a lot of the fear from attempting to save a life, but there is no substitute for hands-on practice. We invite all emergency care training providers to add a link to this site on their own webpages to help inform the public about this practice which does not meet workplace standards.”
About Health & Safety Institute - Headquartered in Eugene, OR, Health & Safety Institute (HSI), is a leading global emergency care and response training organization. HSI family of brands includes American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI), MEDIC First Aid®, 24-7 EMS®, 24-7 Fire, EMP Canada, and Summit Training Source. Since 1978, HSI has partnered with over 16,000 approved training centers and authorized over 200,000 professional safety and health educators, who have certified over 23 million emergency care providers in the US and over 100 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.hsi.com.