2017 Hands-Only CPR Campaign Trains 4.6 Million New Lifesavers

Hit rewind and watch the highlights of the 2017 Anthem Foundation and American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR campaign.

David Heidrich had never heard of Hands-Only CPR until August when the American Heart Association’s 2017 Hands-Only CPR Mobile Tour stopped in Augusta, Maine to teach the lifesaving skill.

“Push Hard and Fast in the Center of the Chest” is the second step of Hands-Only CPR that was depicted in a Hands-Only CPR PSA that featured actress and comedian, Wendi McLendon-Covey, in 2017.

Hands-Only CPR has two steps, performed in this order: when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.

Heidrich was trained in Hands-Only CPR and, as a future lifesaver,  understands how critical it can be for bystanders to respond if they witness a cardiac arrest outside the hospital.

“The chest compressions you apply while administering Hands-Only CPR can be vital to buying the time necessary to allow emergency medical personnel to arrive at your location,” said Heidrich, who is the director of communications for the State of Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Service.

The crowd practices compressions in order to do Hands-Only CPR at the Hands-Only CPR Mobile Tour stop at the North Lexington Family YMCA in Lexington, KY in Sept. 2017.

More than 3,700 people were ultimately trained in Hands-Only CPR during the six-week long 2017 tour, making it one of the highlights of the 2017 American Heart Association Hands-Only CPR campaign. The campaign is nationally supported by a five-year, educational grant from Anthem Foundation.

The campaign aims to increase the survival of cardiac arrest victims outside the hospital by making the public aware of Hands-Only CPR, training people in Hands-Only CPR and AED use, and giving people the confidence to take action. The interactive Mobile Tour is one way that the American Heart Association and Anthem Foundation meet people where they’re at with critical instruction and education.

Heidrich relished the opportunity to use an AED, or automated external defibrillator, training device for the first time at the tour stop.

“It seems like they (AEDs) are everywhere now – from malls and airports to workplaces and schools – and having the opportunity to use one in a non-emergency situation made me feel better about using an AED when it really counts,” he said.

A traveler practices Hands-Only CPR on the interactive training kiosk in Aug. 2017 at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

In addition to the tour, the American Heart Association and Anthem Foundation continued to provide Hands-Only CPR training to the public in innovative ways. The organizations placed more Hands-Only CPR training kiosks at various U.S. airports.

The two organizations also teamed up with actress and comedian Wendi McLendon-Covey to create a humorous Hands-Only CPR training PSA called “The Mix Up” that was shown on cable TV networks and elevator screens in lobbies of buildings in various U.S. cities. You could even watch this memorable PSA and learn Hands-Only CPR while in the air on Southwest Airlines, which displayed the piece on its in-flight WiFi portal for nearly two months in November and December.

The Association and Anthem Foundation are ready to reach many more Americans with this lifesaving skill in 2018.