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First Aid/CPR/AED

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First Aid and CPR Quick Links

First Aid/CPR/AED Program Summary

Information regarding first aid training and certification for personnel with work-related requirements.

When an emergency arises, it's important to be prepared. First aid training is required for some employees by OSHA or other regulatory agencies, or where the employee has a duty to act as defined in his/her job description.

First Aid/CPR/AED training is required for some industries by OSHA regulations and/or state licensing requirements, including but not limited to:

  • Logging operations;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution;
  • Scuba diving operations;
  • Shipping, maritime, long shoring;
  • Child care facilities;
  • Adult care facilities; and
  • Construction sites.

Other personnel may have to be trained in first aid based upon job hazards, duties, or location (e.g "remote" locations), including but not limited to:

  • Confined space attendants;
  • Designated confined space rescue personnel;
  • Electricians;
  • Miners;
  • College farms;
  • Center for Power Electronics Systems;
  • Fisheries and wildlife researchers ;
  • Designated machine shop coordinators; and
  • Police officers. 

Personnel wishing to take a First Aid/CPR/AED class for other reasons may also take the training through Environmental Health & Safety. 

As of Aug. 1, 2020, the training will involve a blended learning format. The classroom portion will be completed online, and the skills demonstration portion will be scheduled with Environmental Health & Safety. The cost for Adult First Aid/CPR/AED is $45.00 per person and is payable through Virginia Tech Continuing and Professional Education. Once you register for the class, you will be sent a link to this site for payment. Credit cards or ISR/Hokie Mart are accepted.

Upon receipt of payment, ASHI will send an email to the participant for access to online materials. Once the online portion has been successfully completed, participants will receive an email from EHS indicating that they can now schedule an appointment for CPR skills verification. On your Training Profile page, you may select an appointment under the "Appointments" tab. Skills verification typically takes less than 1.5 hours. A digital card will be emailed to participants who sucessfully complete all requirements.

Personnel must complete successfully complete all requirements set forth by the organization granting certification (e.g. ASHI or National Safety Council), typically including both knowledge and skills evaluations. Certification is valid for two years. For more information, contact 540-231-8759.

First Aid/CPR/AED Online Program

View general program information below. Specific information is provided during first aid/CPR/AED training. 

First Aid Kits

First aid kits are necessary to ensure that responders have adequate supplies and protection available to them. Kits must be available, even if there are no specific employment-related injuries expected. Environmental Health & Safety does not supply kits; departments must provide kits for their areas and ensure that they are adequately stocked with supplies.

Although OSHA does not list specific content requirements for first aid kits, there are general guidelines available for minimum supplies.

  • 4"x8" absorbent compress(es)
  • Band-aids
  • Medical tape
  • Antiseptic applications
  • Burn treatment applications
  • Triple antibiotic ointment applications
  • 3"x3" sterile pads
  • Exam gloves
  • Triangle bandage
  • Eye pads
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • CPR mask(s)

First aid kits can be tailored to the type of injury anticipated in any given work area, for example, machine shops should consider additional absorbent compresses for bleeding control, material handling - tweezers or a splinter removal kit, dining programs - burn applications, etc. First aid kits should not contain oral medications.

First aid kits should be generally available to the work area. Personnel should not have to travel through several doorways, hallways, and/or stairways to access supplies. It is recommended that each chemical and biological laboratory, shop area, and vehicle for personnel who work in various locations, have a kit immediately available.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)

Automatic external defibrillators (AED) are now fairly common in public areas. An AED can be used to attempt to restart the heart of a person in cardiac arrest. There are various models on the market; however, the basic design and principles are the same. Buildings on campus that have AEDs in place must ensure that they are properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis, whether contracted with the manufacturer or designated to departmental personnel. There currently is no requirement for persons trained in CPR to also be trained on the use and operation of AEDs. Use, and therefore training, is voluntary for personnel in the area. Volunteers should be certified in CPR and trained on the particular model of AED available in the area. Typically this training is coordinated by the department with the AED vendor. Any related expenses are the responsibility of the department. 

Coordination of AEDs on campus is provided by Virginia Tech Rescue Squad

AEDs are typically located in public spaces for easy access. Where hazardous work tasks are involved for a given project, such as permit-required confined space entry or live electrical work, and personnel has been properly trained, portable AEDs should be brought onto the worksite for ready access in case of emergency.

Scene Safety

The most important basic principle of first aid is to remain calm. You cannot help others when you are in a panic, nor will you be able to ease the victim's fears and anxieties, which can contribute to his/her condition. 

Always check the scene of an emergency before you rush in to help. Look for hazardous conditions, such as: 

  • Smoke and flames;
  • Spilled chemicals or odors;
  • Downed electrical wires;
  • Risk of explosion;
  • Possible building collapse/instability;
  • Traffic dangers; and
  • Potential personal violence. 

If the scene is dangerous, stay away and call for help. You must not become a victim yourself.

Look for clues that may indicate what happened. This will give you an idea of the possible condition of the victim(s) and what first aid treatment may be necessary. Did the person fall from a ladder? Was the person working on an electrical system? Was some type of chemical involved? Was the person operating some type of machinery or equipment? If there is no indication of what might have happened, consider a possible medical emergency, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetic emergency, or a seizure. 

Provide care only if it is safe to do so; otherwise, stay away, call 911, and wait for emergency services to arrive.

Get Help

You should call 911 immediately if you recognize a life-threatening injury or illness, or the situation requires a specialized response, such as police, fire, hazardous materials, or power company assistance. Life-threatening conditions include:

  • A problem that threatens the victim's airway;
  • A problem that threatens the victim's breathing;
  • A problem that threatens the victim's circulation of blood, such as severe bleeding or shock;
  • The victim is unconscious or unresponsive;
  • The condition could become life-threatening; and
  • Moving could make the condition worse. 

In many situations, emergency services may not be called but the victim stills needs to see a healthcare provider. Encourage family and friends to ensure the victim follows through with seeing a doctor. When in doubt, call 911.

  • Any phone: Dial 911 (emergencies). 
  • Blacksburg campus: Dial 1-6411 (non-emergencies).

Provide the following information to the dispatcher:

  • Your name and the phone number you are calling from;
  • The location of the victim;
  • The number of victims;
  • What happened;
  • The victim's condition;
  • The victim's approximate age and gender; and
  • What is being done for the victim(s).

Be sure to check the area for bystanders who may be willing to assist you. Bystanders can help by:

  • Calling 911;
  • Meeting response agencies and leading them to the victim(s);
  • Helping other victims with minor injuries;
  • Helping to calm the victim down; and
  • Getting the nearest first aid kit.

Protect Yourself

In general, you should not hesitate to help a victim because you are afraid of being sued. In Virginia, there are Good Samaritan laws designed to protect volunteers who attempt to help another person. In addition, the following guidelines will provide even more protection for you:

  • Act only as you are trained to act.
  • Get the victim's consent before giving first aid.
  • Do not move the victim unnecessarily.
  • Call for professional help (911).
  • Keep giving care until someone of equal or higher training takes over.

There is some risk of getting an infectious disease when providing first aid - especially where contact is made with an infected person's blood. Bacteria or viruses contracted through a person's blood are called bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens may also be present in other bodily fluids, such as bloody saliva, vomit, semen, or vaginal secretions. Diseases associated with providing first aid include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV). During training, you will learn about universal precautions that should be taken and appropriate personal protective equipment that should be worn, in order to minimize exposure.

Although rare, there are a few airborne diseases to be aware of, such as tuberculosis (TB) or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Special precautions are generally not required for first aid responders.

Provide Care

After you have surveyed the scene for safety and put on your gloves, you should assess the victim. During first aid training, you will learn the proper techniques for each of the steps. This assessment is prioritized to find life-threatening problems first and should always be performed in this order. If a problem is found during the step, you should provide the appropriate care before moving on to the next step. 

  • Check the ABCs: Airway, breathing, and circulation.
  • Get  information about the victim which may identify a medical condition that is not evident (i.e. the victim's history) or clues regarding what might be wrong.
  • Check the rest of the victim's body by performing a physical examination.
  • Monitor the victim for changes while waiting for emergency services to arrive. 

Information on how to provide care for someone needing assistance will be provided in the first aid/CPR/AED training. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is training mandatory? If so, when? Training is mandatory for persons who work in remote locations, on energized electrical systems, with confined spaces, on telecommunications cabling, or if it is written into their job description. Where training is not mandatory, employees may attend (when spaces are available) at the current established price.

Class length: 4 hours.

Available online: No.

When is refresher training required? Every 2 years.

Please see the online class schedule for more information.

AED's (Automatic External Defibrillators) are available in many public spaces on campus. If your department wishes to have an AED but does not fall within the criteria, then one may be purchased by the department. Virginia Tech Rescue Squad administers the university's Public Access AED Program. 

The cost of the AED, as well as proper installation costs, will be the responsibility of the department purchasing the equipment. Installation may be required to have a permit from the University Building Official's Office. It is important that you coordinate the brand of AED with the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad (540-231-7138 or to maintain uniformity and efficiency during emergency response.

AEDs must be properly maintained and inspected regularly to ensure that they are ready to use at any given time. Replacing batteries, updating programming as protocols change, and replacing expired pads are common maintenance activities.

Personnel should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in order for the AED to be used effectively. CPR training (where there is no specific job requirement for it) can be scheduled through Environmental Health & Safety for a reasonable per-person fee.

AEDs are provided in many public spaces on campus already. If your department is interested in purchasing an AED, there are a couple of considerations:

  • AEDs typically cost between $2,000-$3,000. This will come out of the department's budget.
  • Zoll and Phillips AED are the two brands currently on campus. It is recommended that you purchase one of these brands.
  • AEDs are most effective when used in conjunction with CPR. CPR training is available through Environmental Health & Safety for a reasonable fee.
  • AEDs must be inspected monthly to ensure they are in good operating condition, such as batteries charged, pads not expired, no damage, etc.
  • Pads do have expiration dates on them and they will need to be switched out once expired.

OSHA requires that fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye be reported within certain time frames. Environmental Health & Safety coordinates OSHA reporting for the university. Contact Robin Miller at 540-231-2341 or for assistance as soon as the incident occurs sot that proper procedures and notifications can be coordinated.

The Employer's Accident Report (EAR) is completed for worker's compensation benefits and is maintained by Human Resources. 


Contact Information

Robin McCall-Miller, Occupational Safety Program Manager

Phone: 540-231-2341