May 10 - 16, 2020: Issue 449


Lifesavers bring 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 focussing 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.



Surf Life Saving NSW has teamed up with the original “Yellow Wiggle”, Greg Page, to launch a new video demonstrating safe cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) technique during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video has been designed to alleviate growing concern in the community about the risk of being exposed to Coronavairus, should anyone be faced with performing CPR on someone having a cardiac arrest or heart attack.

Greg Page recently suffered a cardiac arrest while performing with the Original Wiggles at a bushfire relief concert. His life was saved by four members of the community who performed CPR on him for twenty minutes.

Greg is passionate about sending a message to all Australians that when it comes to saving the life of someone having a heart attack, DOING SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Anyone can save the life of someone having a heart attack, while minimising the chances of being infected with the COVID-19 virus.

In an unprecedented move, Surf Life Saving NSW has modified the CPR method of alternating chest compressions and breaths. By removing the mouth-to-mouth component of CPR, the risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus is considerably reduced. However, performing chest compressions alone can still be very effective in saving lives.

“People may be afraid to do the breaths, which is understandable. So, if you can, do the chest compressions, because that alone is better than nothing,” said Greg Page.

“In the scheme of resuscitation, the chest compressions are the most important thing because the chest compressions keep the oxygenated blood flowing around the body.

“I had CPR performed on me for around 20 minutes, which is a relatively long time, and thank goodness I have no diminished brain function.

“So, it’s really important to do those good quality chest compressions particularly now in this COVID-19 world we’re living in,” said Greg Page.

The Surf Life Saving NSW COVID-19 CPR community service video (CSA) will be released on YouTube and social media channels today (24 April). It will be made available to broadcast television networks to raise community awareness about safe CPR technique during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Surf Life Saving NSW is one of the largest providers of first-aid and CPR training in Australia. It trains over 115,000 people every year.