I took a CPR training class on a chilly May morning last spring. It was my intention to increase my value as a babysitter by adding a CPR credential to my resume. A long hallway led to a sparsely furnished room where the class was held. A cheesy CPR dummy sat in a chair by the door, a sign propped against its leg welcoming students in.
I snuck a handful of caramels from the oversized jar next to the empty cookie tin and coffee machine on the table on one side of the room and took a seat. A woman whose smile was too big for her face led the class through four hours’ worth of training videos and practice exercises.
We reviewed procedures for general first aid, what to do in various medical situations, and how to stay calm when others may panic. I hungrily absorbed information, greedy for the knowledge of how to save lives and protect people.
It came as a huge surprise to me that without an official CPR certification, I could be sued for saving someone’s life. If a person does not wish to be saved, or the person giving CPR fails to save a life, family members of the accident’s victim can sue.
At the end of the class, the smiling instructor handed us all thick cardboard certification cards that I signed and carefully and proudly stored in my wallet. I left the class with a new spring in my step and a yellow-and-blue card in my wallet certifying me capable of saving a life.