Some critics of online BLS certification have asked me, “Roy, how do you teach online CPR effectively?” And then they state without pause, “You know that the only valid means for teaching CPR and having the students benefit is from a traditional classroom!”

To this question/statement, I give the following explanation of the benefits that are being realized through the power of the Internet and computer technology and how this new technology is revolutionizing the way people are learning and mastering life-saving skills like BLS Online. was founded in 2003 with the sole purpose of creating an efficient and effective online recertification process for experienced health care professionals. For years, I practiced CPR on the street as a licensed paramedic and after hundreds of calls on the ambulance, I believe I could have done CPR in my sleep. Did I really need to go to a 2 to 4-hour refresher course when I knew how to provide CPR proficiently? After working as an educator in public education for a leading ambulance company, I realized that remembering the actual numbers and sequences of how to provide effective CPR represented only a small percentage of the reasons that people were not providing CPR to dying people on the street. I found that it was the fear of doing something wrong that primarily stopped people from rescuing. And the student feared doing something wrong because they were not confident in their acquired skills from the traditional, “more effective,” classroom.

Well, after questioning hundreds of students as to the primary reason they would not get involved in a real-life rescue, even after learning CPR, they usually responded by saying, “It’s too much information in a short amount of time. I’m afraid I’ll forget what to do and then do something wrong and make the person worse than when I found them.” Forgetting information is a very legitimate problem with any type of training that takes more than 20 minutes in one sitting and then is not refreshed for more than 2-6 months and up to 2 years. It was around the same time that I was beginning to understand people’s fears for rescuing that technology was beginning to change drastically and the Internet was booming. Video, which had been very difficult and bandwidth-intensive to stream over dial-up, was now becoming more prevalent as broadband was starting to become more readily available. The medium to provide my dream education vehicle was about to materialize. Could I really be in touch with my students even after the course was finished? Could I really retrain and refresh them in video segments as short as three minutes? Would this really prove to be as effective or even more effective than the classroom? I believe the answer is “Yes!”

The Internet provides a great medium for online CPR review, training, and testing, allowing the student to learn at their own pace. The student no longer has to fit into an instructor’s schedule, but rather reviews and trains when they are awake, alert, and most ready to learn. An online BLS certification company like is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. I decided that this type of training should be accessible for review any time, day or night, not only when a person could squeeze into a classroom.

Online BLS certification technology allows to provide a superior, consistent, and easy-to-follow certification course by sending short 3 to 7-minute CPR video refreshers to the students every week. The videos cover a different topic every week and by the time the certificate is ready to expire in two years, (which we remind them of by mail, email, or phone call), the student has covered all of the CPR topics at least twice. Now the student is ready to prove he/she has retained this vital information with a test, and when required, a short hands-on skills evaluation to prove to the instructor or skill evaluator that he/she can provide effective Basic Life Support (BLS). But most of all, the student is never “orphaned” and can return to the online BLS training room at any time, day or night. I believe this availability of training and constant refreshing of skills increases student confidence. The student is more likely to remember the vital steps, which builds self-confidence during a traumatic situation. Now, a person in sudden cardiac arrest may have a better chance at survival, thanks to the gift of online BLS certification.

So, that brings me back to the original question. “Do you really believe that online BLS certification is as good as the traditional face-to-face classroom?”


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