Long before MTV, the Jersey shore was known for its beaches. It’s not unusual for families from all over the state to head to any of the towns along the 130 miles of New Jersey coastline for weekend fun, or summer-long celebrations of sun, surf, and sand. Of course, with water fun also comes water safety, including knowing CPR.

What is CPR

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It involves reviving someone after they have stopped breathing and/or their heart has stopped beating by breathing for them and using chest compressions to stimulate the heart.

There are three major types of CPR – adult, infant, and child – because infants and children have slightly different cardio-pulmonary needs than adults. There is also a Hands-Only CPR that does not involve breathing.

Lifeguards who work the pools and beaches along the Jersey Shore all have to complete CPR training and certification as part of their jobs. However, CPR is not just for water safety, and anyone can benefit from knowing CPR, whether or not they are on the water.

Why Learn CPR?

The big reason is that anyone can go into cardiopulmonary arrest at any time, and for any reason. It might sound a little melodramatic, but there are several reasons why a seemingly healthy person might stop breathing, and his heart might stop beating.

Cardiopulmonary arrest could happen at school, at work, out at restaurants, and anywhere else that people congregate, and is most likely to happen at home. When cardiopulmonary arrest occurs, minutes count, and someone knowing how to administer CPR could make the difference between life and death.

In fact, in certain industries the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires that someone on-site be trained to render first aid and CPR. These industries can include factories or construction sites that have a high risk of injury; or schools or public places where individuals are responsible for the health and well-being of others.

OSHA even recommends that there be at least one person in an office trained to administer first aid, which could include CPR.

In the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, a person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid. Adequate first aid supplies shall be readily available.

The great thing about CPR certification is that it lasts a couple of years, which means your certification could be good for at least one beach season. That can come in extremely handy if you are swimming on a private beach, a private pool, or any other location where there might not be a lifeguard available.

Where to Learn CPR

There are Red Cross-approved training sites you can get CPR training in NJ, just by signing up and attending classes. Some of these training companies also offer classes to the public at schools, fire departments, and community centers like the YMCA – especially in preparation for the summer beach season.

If you are interested in getting certification through your workplace, you will want to contact Human Resources to see if there is a CPR training program in place. If not, then you can talk to them about starting a program, including giving plenty of statistics on the effectiveness of CPR, and reasons why it would benefit the company to offer the training.

The advantage to going through your company is that, when it’s time to renew, they might pay for the training and re-certification. However, even if you get the certification on your own, it’s a good idea to renew the certification when it expires, because the American Red Cross is always updating and improving the CPR process.