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Learn CPR

Boston EMS encourages anyone and everyone to learn CPR. By knowing this life saving technique, you will have the power to save a life.  And with Hands-Only CPR it is now easier than ever to learn!

Why is learning CPR important?
According to the American Heart Association, approximately 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home and about 92% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before they reach the hospital. Getting help right away is crucial to survival. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved. Statistics show that immediate CPR can more than double a victim’s chance of survival.

Boston EMS has one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in the country, but to achieve even greater success we need your help. Bystanders who are able to recognize a medical emergency, quickly call 9-1-1 to summon emergency help, and begin CPR have the power to be life-savers.

If you want the power to save a life, learn CPR.

Who should learn CPR?
The short answer is ANYONE and EVERYONE. In particular, Boston EMS especially encourages parents, babysitters, caregivers, teachers, coaches and other professionals to learn CPR. The more people who know CPR, the better.

What is Hands-Only CPR?
Hands-Only CPR, a life-saving technique anyone can learn, is CPR without mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths. Hands-Only CPR involves calling 911 and pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest. If you haven’t learned conventional CPR or you lack confidence in your CPR skills, administer Hands-Only CPR.

Hands-Only CPR is recommended for use on adults who suddenly collapse. The American Heart Association recommends conventional CPR for all infants and children, for adult victims who are found already unconscious and not breathing normally, and for any victims of drowning or collapse due to breathing problems.

Please visit to learn more.

How long does it take to get CPR certified?
Most CPR courses last no longer than a few hours. You can learn this important life-saving skill in almost no time at all.

How can members of my business or community organization learn CPR?
Boston EMS offers CPR courses to both businesses and community groups. In 2010, Boston EMS taught thousands of people CPR including more than 2,400 Boston Public Students through the CPR Anytime program. Boston EMS also offers CPR courses geared toward the Spanish speaking population specifically.

If you want more information on how to arrange a course, please call 617-343-2367.

Where can an individual learn CPR?
Boston EMS does not currently teach CPR on an individual basis. If you are an individual looking to learn CPR, please visit the sites listed below to find a course in your area.

American Heart Association
Phone: 1 877 242 4277

American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay
139 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142 
Phone: 617 274 5200

YMCA of Greater Boston
Multiple locations
Phone: 617 536 7800

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: