Our Mission is Safety
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Have questions? Visit our FAQs or contact NSC.
What's in your toolkit?
You're an authorized First Aid and CPR instructor. You have the most updated instructor materials, and you know the latest information. You have everything you need to be a good instructor. But, are you a great instructor? Here are five essential tools that can make all the difference in class, and help any instructor go from "good" to "great":
Patience: Always keep your audience in mind. Some participants will be go-getters, while others will be shy. Some will pick up on skills right away, others may require special attention. Exercising patience, whether it means explaining concepts multiple times, providing remediation on skills, or continuously encouraging students, is the mark of an effective instructor.
Knowledge: It is critical for instructors to be up to date on the latest guidelines. It is equally as important to be aware of information related to CPR and first aid circulating through the news and social media that may not be consistent with the latest guidelines. For instance, has a student ever told you they heard on the news that breaths should no longer be given during CPR? Effective instructors know the issues, and are able to explain the difference between the published scientific guidelines and news reports if questions arise in class.
Anticipation: If you are a seasoned instructor, things don't always go as planned when you arrive to teach a class. Maybe the instructional space is not ideal. Maybe AV equipment is not working or even missing. Or, perhaps there are more participants than you expected. A well-prepared instructor will anticipate potential issues that could arise and prepare in advance. Consider having extra student materials on hand just in case, and perhaps have a backup plan if AV equipment is not available. By anticipating potential issues and having a game plan to work around them, instructors can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
Intelligence: Do a little "recon" before the class starts. Know your audience. NSC first aid programs offer flexibility and the tools to tailor a course to meet the needs of any audience. Teaching a course for utility workers? Consider scenarios that they are most likely to encounter, or use the Industry-Specific Scenarios that are included in the First Aid, CPR & AED Instructor toolkit. Great instructors are able to make their courses relevant to the audience they are teaching.
Enthusiasm: Hopefully, you have a passion for teaching first aid and CPR. Let it show! Remember, participants take their cues from you – if you bring positive energy and enthusiasm to your classes, you will be creating an environment that will engage participants and maximize learning. The end result will be a more positive and effective experience for your participants, and for you as well.
Springtime brings rain and the after-effects of winter weather – potholes and uneven pavement. Keep these driving tips in mind before you travel:
Campus life typically challenges students with new opportunities for learning, discovery – and intimacy with germs. Lots of germs.
That makes dormitories and their residents an ideal natural experiment to trace the germs' paths.
"You pack a bunch of college kids into a very small environment … we're not known as being the cleanliest of people," says sophomore Parker Kleb at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Kleb is a research assistant for
an ongoing study tracking the spread of respiratory viruses through a student population. The study's goal is to better understand how these viruses move around, in order to help keep illness at bay – all the more pressing as the current flu season is on track to be among the worst recorded in the United States.
Called "C.A.T.C.H. the Virus," which stands for Characterizing and Tracking College Health, the study traces the trajectory of viral infections using blood samples, nasal swabs and breath samples from ailing freshmen and their closest contacts. (Tagline: It's snot your average research study.)
Donald Milton, an environmental and occupational health physician-scientist, heads the project. On a recent day, he described the study to a classroom of freshmen he hopes to recruit. He ticked off questions this research seeks to answer: What is it that makes people susceptible to getting sick? What makes them contagious? And how do they transmit a virus to others? "Maybe your house, your room has something to do with whether you're at risk of getting infected," Milton said.
He had a receptive audience: members of the College Park Scholars' Global Public Health program. Infection control is right up their alley. "How sick do we have to be?" one student asked. It's the culprit that matters, she's told. The study covers acute respiratory infections due to influenza viruses, adenoviruses, coronaviruses or respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV.
Of most interest, however, is influenza. "Flu is important to everybody," says Milton. Influenza is thought to spread among humans three ways – touch; coughing and sneezing, which launches droplets containing virus from the lungs onto surfaces; and aerosols,
smaller droplets suspended in the air that could be inhaled.
How much each of these modes of transmission contributes to the spread of viruses is a point of fierce debate, Milton says. And that makes infection control difficult, especially in hospitals.
"If we don't understand how [viruses] are transmitted, it's hard to come up with policies that are really going to work."
Milton and his colleagues recently reported that people with the flu can shed infectious virus particles just by breathing. Of 134 fine-aerosol samples taken when patients were breathing normally,
52 contained infectious influenza virus — or 39%, according to the study, published online Jan. 18 in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Those fine-aerosol particles of respiratory tract fluid are 5 microns in diameter or less, small enough to stay suspended in the air and potentially contribute to airborne transmission of the flu, the researchers say.
"This could mean that just having good cough and sneeze etiquette – sneezing or coughing into tissues – may not be enough to limit the spread of influenza," says virologist Andrew Pekosz at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved with the study. "Just sitting in your office and breathing could fill the air with infectious influenza."
The C.A.T.C.H. study aims to find out if what's in the air is catching. In two University of Maryland dorms, carbon dioxide sensors measure how much of the air comes from people's exhalations. In addition, laboratory tests measure how much virus sick students are shedding into the air. To get those samples, students sit in a ticket booth‒sized contraption called the Gesundheit-II and breathe into a giant cone. These data can help researchers estimate students' airborne exposure to viruses, Milton says.
Another key dataset comes from DNA testing of the viruses infecting the students. "The virus mutates reasonably fast," Milton says, so the more people it's moved through, the more changes it will have. By combining this molecular chain of transmission with the social chain of transmission, the researchers will try to "establish who infected whom, and where, and how," Milton says.
The goal is to enroll 130 students in C.A.T.C.H. It's doubtful they'll all get sick, but not that many students from this initial group are needed to start the ball rolling, says Jennifer German, a virologist and C.A.T.C.H. student engagement coordinator.
"For every index case that has an infection we're interested in, we're following four additional contacts," she says. "And then if any of those contacts becomes sick, we'll get their contacts and so on."
The study began in November 2017. As of the end of January, German says, researchers have collected samples from five sick students, but only one was infected with a target virus, influenza. The researchers now are following three contacts from that case.
But timing and the size of the current flu outbreak may be on the researchers' side. Kleb, the research assistant, says that students are still waiting for this season's flu to sweep through the dorms.
"Once one person gets sick, it goes around to everyone on the floor," he says. "I'm very interested to see what happens in the next few weeks, and how the study will hopefully benefit."
In the near future, NSC First Aid will begin to move towards a single student completion card that will cover the First Aid, CPR & AED course. Instructors will begin to see this change in the early summer. The combined card will replace the separate First Aid and CPR/AED cards. The combined card will streamline your administrative time and will be easier for students to keep track of. We are excited to bring changes to our instructors that will improve their processes and leave them more time to teach our courses.
It is a fortunate dog whose heart stops and lives to bark about it.
The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that a 15-year-old corgi named Pia is wagging her tail today thanks to the quick thinking of a woman who not only knows CPR but knows what's good for man is good for man's best friend.
Pia's owner dropped Pia off at Belly Rubs Dog Grooming in Normal. A while later, the dog suffered a seizure, causing her to stop breathing and her heart to stop.
Groomer Emily Bauman stepped up and blew air into the dog's nostrils before administering compressions until the dog started breathing again.
Pia was taken to an area pet hospital and her owner says she is now doing well.
Source: Associated Press
Can medical drones reduce the time to cardiac treatment by getting an automated external defibrillator (AED) into the hands of a bystander? Preliminary studies suggest that drones may make a life-saving difference in providing emergency care to cardiac arrest patients, especially those in a rural area.
More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCAs) occur in the United States every year. Seventy percent of these occur in homes. While multiple studies have shown that AEDs can significantly increase chances of survival, a critical factor is the amount of time that elapses from victim discovery to treatment.
Research into the practical use of medical drones for the delivery of AEDs is still in its very early stages and much work and testing remains, along with the development of appropriate regulatory guidelines.
Canadian study shows that survival rates decline by 23% for every minute that passes between the onset of cardiac arrest and the start of defibrillation.
Pre-placement of static AEDs to public buildings or venues is not extensive enough and rarely helps those in homes where the majority of OHCAs occur.
Two recent studies, one from Salt Lake City in 2016 and another from the Toronto metro region in 2017, used mathematical models to look at how a systematic, geographical placement of medical drones equipped with AEDs might reduce the time to cardiac treatment by getting an AED much more quickly into the hands of a bystander.
While the Salt Lake City and Toronto models differ in important respects, they both theoretically show that medical drones equipped with AEDs can be deployed from optimally located launch sites across a large metro area to ensure a much faster travel time than via traditional ground transport.
A preliminary study out of Sweden was published in June, 2017. Swedish researchers operated an eight-rotor drone from a fire station in a suburb of Stockholm to deliver an AED to locations where OHCAs had occurred between 2006 and 2014. Over a 72-hour period they conducted 18 remotely operated, beyond line-of-sight flights.
The drone-delivered AED arrived in every case faster than EMS, with a median reduction in response time of more than 16 minutes.
These research articles are available by contacting
Don Mountz is the "go-to" local instructor and provider of the NSC First Aid menu of classes. In fact, you can see him in action at NSC headquarters in Itasca quite frequently. Don has successfully trained many other instructors to deliver utilizing the NSC class content.
Don is the owner of Safety Training Associates, a firm dedicated to safety that provides life-saving training programs in the Chicago area. Coming from a background that includes managerial responsibilities, Don takes his job as Instructor Trainer quite seriously, often providing the NSC First Aid Department with helpful industry information. He is an asset that brings us knowledge from the trenches.
Don holds credentials in a variety of safety training programs from NSC, as well as other organizations. He has been involved in safety for more than 28 years. Don's teaching experience spans the corporate, education and recreation industries. He proudly boasts that his personal choice of programs are those of the National Safety Council. Not only does Don teach our First Aid programs, but he also teaches for the NSC Defensive Driving team.
The National Safety Council is honored to have Don as a teaching partner for our programs!
"I have taken the course several times. This was the best class I have taken. Learned more in this class than most others combined. The instructor was excellent. Great experience."
"The instructor was the best I have ever had for any CPR recertification course I have attended in my 15 years as a nurse. He clearly knows the material and loves what he does."
"The training I received was top notch. The trainer and the materials provided were to the point and easy to understand. Thank you!"
"It was comprehensive and interactive. It held my attention. Thank you NSC!"
"I have had CPR training from the Red Cross prior and I feel that this course was much better. The instructor was very helpful and knowledgeable."
"The instructor's professional experience brought the class to life, verse reading the material or listening online.
He was funny, energetic and real about the teachings."
"I felt very satisfied – learning skills that could save a life."
If you haven't visited the new Instructor Resource Center on the National Safety Council website, please take a look. It has been redesigned and is packed full of vital information, such as training tips, news and resources to help you conduct your trainings. You can
access the new resource center here.
We are proud of our instructors and the important work they do. If you know anyone who has a first aid story they would like to share please direct them to
NSC.org/fahero to submit their story. Below is a recently submission.
NSC First Aid Training Gives Student Confidence to Save a Life
A man in New Jersey who had a slim chance of survival is alive today because a college student used her
first aid and CPR training to save him.
Yezli Nunez was on her way to visit a pregnant family friend on a snowy evening in December 2017. The excitement of the arrival of a newborn was overshadowed, however, when she walked into a chaotic scene.
Nunez, a 21-year-old studying to become an athletic trainer at William Paterson University, discovered a man on the ground in cardiac arrest. She saw the shocked faces of people unsure of what to do and was startled to see some even using smartphones to record the incident as it unfolded. She did not hesitate to act.
Nunez asked onlookers to call 911 and look for an automatic external defibrillator. She checked for a pulse, determined the man was not breathing and started performing compressions. Just as the ambulance arrived, the man started breathing. Nunez put him in recovery position, then provided her personal information to police investigators. She never learned the man's name.
"They told me I saved his life," Nunez said. "They told me it is rare, that after a certain amount of time – they mentioned 15 minutes – they usually don't make it."
When her grandfather suffered a stroke, Nunez decided to learn first aid and CPR. Her college major required advanced course work and certification. One of her instructors, National Safety Council First Aid Program and Development Manager Robb Rehberg, made a quick impression.
"The first thing he taught us was, 'Do not be afraid. You are here. You are learning what to do.' "
Nunez easily passed her first aid and CPR classroom skills tests but still expressed feelings of trepidation over how she would perform under pressure in the real world. The free NSC
Emergency Medical Response app can take some of that anxiety out of the equation. The app provides immediate access to medical tips and first aid instructions and is designed to assist the everyday citizen until help arrives.
"You actually pray that you never use your training," Nunez said. "You think, 'What if I forget? What if I do it wrong?' It's all about believing in your skills. Be confident that you know what you're doing."
She said Rehberg emphasized the importance of following the process step by step.
"As I did it, I said everything out loud so everybody knew what I was doing," Nunez said. "To go visit somebody and then stop and save somebody's life, I was not expecting it. But taking the course gave me the knowledge and the confidence to save a life."
Nunez is a perfect example of why First Aid and CPR training is so important, Rehberg said.
"This is why I love my job," he said.
About 25% of all emergency room visits can be avoided with basic first aid and CPR, and 75% of all out-of-hospital heart attacks happen at home.
"That's why we are so excited that more and more schools are taking similar approaches, like Yezli's school, William Paterson University, and are implementing first aid training into their educational programs," said National Safety Council Chief Operating Officer Nick Smith. "These classes help equip individuals with the tools necessary to act when they need to the most."
Nunez wants others to follow in her footsteps. One day, she hopes to teach first aid and CPR in Spanish in Passaic County. Further down the road, she envisions herself returning to her homeland, the Dominican Republic, and working as an athletic trainer for las Aguilas del Cibao, one of the oldest and most storied baseball teams in the Caribbean.
"That's my team," she said.
No doubt, they would welcome another home run hitter.
Sue is a part of the First Aid team at the National Safety Council. She has been with the Council for two years and is passionate about our First Aid programs and the mission of the Council. She manages the marketing efforts for First Aid, including direct mail, email and social media campaigns, as well as the creation of the newsletter you reading right now!
When Sue is not in the office you can usually find her spending time with her family and friends, hiking, biking, cooking and reading. She has two teenage daughters, Megan and Emily, who keep her on her toes. Her latest adventure is helping her oldest navigate through her college search for this fall. Not an easy task!
The catalog showcases all our latest products and first aid training supplies.
Our poster includes easy-to-follow instructions to reinforce and remind your employees and students about the steps they need to take in the event of a cardiac arrest. Display it prominently in your workplace or classroom where employees and students can reference it when they need it. Measures 17" x 26"; $14.99 each. Posters are available for purchase