Preparedness and Health and Safety Services conducted a review of the validity length of CPR certification for the professional rescuer based on requests from chapters. All CPR certifications were considered and it was determined that the change to a two-year CPR certificate validity period would be appropriate for professional rescuers other than lifeguards.
Professional rescuers other than lifeguards are in a position to use CPR/AED skills on a regular basis due to job responsibilities. The American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid, Aquatics, Safety and Preparedness (ACFASP) review of the scientific literature indicates formal retraining can be changed to a biennial occurrence for some rescuers. The review has indicated that skill and knowledge retention can be accomplished through a variety of methods including skills performance, retraining and skills refreshers. Lifeguards are excluded from the two-year certification due to the predominantly seasonal nature of their work. In addition, the American Red Cross Aquatic Examiner Service supports an annual training standard. Therefore, the certificate issued for lifeguards will be valid for one year.
The American Red Cross announces the following changes to the certificates and validity periods for the CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course.
- Certificates issued in a CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course will now be valid for two years except for lifeguards whose certification will remain one year. The certificate issued for these courses will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider.
- The certificate issued to lifeguards will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for Lifeguards, which is valid for one year.
Following both the scientific literature and OSHA recommendations, the Red Cross continues to strongly encourage all professional rescuers to retrain in CPR/AED annually and to refresh their skills at least every six months. The maintenance of skills and knowledge is achieved by a combination of course work including retraining, skills refreshers and application of these skills.
If you have questions about this change, contact Jess Paquette, Health & Safety Director of the Rock River Chapter at 815-963-8471 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.