Community News

Lifesavers bringing CPR training to your living room


In a first, Surf Life Saving NSW has launched a ground-breaking online CPR training program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact more people are working, exercising and socialising at home due to social distancing measures.

 “The risks of someone you know having a cardiac arrest aren’t diminished during the Coronavirus crisis. In fact, with more people isolating at home, it’s even more likely that someone you know will have a cardiac arrest in the home environment,” said Dan Gaffney, Chief Operating Officer of Surf Life Saving Services.

“We know that around 30,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside hospitals every year and that only an average of nine percent of victims survive. Outcomes are vastly improved if someone who knows CPR responds quickly, so we created a CPR training program that is perfect for people to do at home while they’re isolating,” Gaffney said.

The new Living Room Lifesavers CPR training program is delivered by qualified trainers using a combination of online e-learning and live virtual classroom instruction – using video conferencing technology. Participants wishing to receive formal accreditation have the option to take a face-to-face, hands-on session after the COVID-19 social distancing requirements are relaxed.

Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) is one of the largest providers of certified CPR training in Australia, with qualified instructors training around 120,000 people every year. With the introduction of the Government’s mandated social distancing restrictions, SLSNSW cancelled its face-to-face First Aid CPR training programs and moved quickly to re-engineer their exiting Bronze Medallion e-learning program, normally restricted for surf lifesaver access only, for online delivery to the public.

The Living Room Lifesavers program has been designed by Surf Life Saving NSW to cater for people working from home and for families wishing to learn CPR together. The e-learning component takes about 25 minutes to complete and the live webinar, led by a qualified trainer, takes 60 minutes. The optional, hands-on session takes 90 minutes with participants receiving a HLTAID001 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification at the conclusion of the program.

Importantly, the Living Room Lifesavers program provides participants with instruction in safer CPR techniques to reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection. By removing the breaths component of CPR and instead focusing primarily on quality chest compressions, first responders can help someone experiencing a cardiac arrest while protecting themselves from the risk of contracting COVID-19.

It is anticipated that the new Living Room Lifesavers program will be popular with families, people working from home – like teachers and medical professionals – who need CPR certification to retain their workplace accreditation.

More information about Surf Life Saving NSW’s new Living Room Lifesavers program is available online.