Mary Alice Reporting – Getting trained in CPR could be life-changing for someone and the American Heart Association is promoting the need to learn the technique.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is performed when the heart stops beating and hands-only CPR is a skill that all can learn, since heart issues occur, of times, in the home.

Communications Director Jennifer McNeil explains that there is a difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest.

“A heart attack can happen over time, [with symptoms like] some chest pain, maybe you have some issues leading up to the actual incident. Cardiac arrest is immediate. It’s an electrical problem. Your heart stops beating and you need to intervene in that situation immediately.”

A heart attack occurs when blood flow is reduced or blocked, usually due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the heart arteries.

The month-long heart health awareness theme is “Be the Beat” which encourages CPR knowledge and the association issued a challenge for one person, in every home across America to learn hands-only CPR.

“In the event of a cardiac arrest, moments count because if someone does not intervene and start hands-only CPR you will die, that’s just a fact, and so that is why it is so important to learn it.”

In the event someone does experience cardiac arrest, McNeil says the first step is to dial 911. If in public tell someone to call but if alone, dial the number while on speaker.

“Immediately start hands-only CPR. You’re going to put your hands in the center of that person’s chest, straighten your arms so that you can use your upper body as leverage, press hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of Walk the Line by Johnny Cash.” 

CPR can also be performed to the beat of other songs such as Stayin’ Alive, Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira or Crazy in Love by Beyoncé.

A 60-second training video, along with more information, is available at

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