CPR Training Kits Expand Access to Life-Saving Skill

Nov. 3, 2023

 Learning CPR is now easier than ever. Hands-Only CPR Training Kits are now available through the Monroe County Library System, as part of a collaborative effort with UR Medicine and the American Heart Association.

Nurse demonstrates CPR chest compressions on an inflatable manikin.
UR Medicine nurse Martina Landahl, RN, practices compressions on an inflatable manikin.

That means people can gain this life-saving skill in the comfort of their home, office, or classroom.

The kits include a single-use inflatable manikin and laminated instruction sheet with access to an online video demonstration and tips. Materials are packed in a UR Medicine duffle bag for easy transport and are loaned from Rochester or hometown libraries throughout the county system.

“Making CPR training accessible is crucial to improving bystander response rates and ultimately, the survival rate after cardiac arrest,” said Stephanie Von Bacho, EdD, MSEd, MS, RN, NEA-BC, senior director of Learning and Development at the University of Rochester, University of Rochester Medical Center and UR Medicine. “These new at-home kits gives every family, business, club, or organization the ability to learn this valuable skill.”

Recently published scientific data shows about 90 percent of the 350,000 people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year will not survive. Unfortunately, 7 in 10 people in America say they feel powerless to act in the face of a cardiac emergency. As a result, fewer than half of the people who need CPR will receive CPR from a bystander before first responders arrive, according to the Heart Association.

“The primary aim of the CPR Kit program is to improve our Rochester community’s access to CPR training. We know how essential timely provision of CPR and use of an AED are for the survival of cardiac arrest victims. As a result of this valuable collaboration, we hope to see more mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings returning home to their families after cardiac arrest,” Kellie Murphy, MS, RN, NPD-BC, assistant director of Learning & Development.

cpr training materials and a gray duffle bag.
Anyone can visit an area library to borrow a Hands-only CPR Training Kit and learn this valuable skill.

UR Medicine is leading a multi-year effort to train the community boost CPR bystander response rates when someone suffers a heart emergency.  Earlier this year, leaders introduced New York state’s first Mobile Hands-Only CPR Training Station.

The portable system, developed by the Heart Association, includes a touchscreen with a brief training video followed by a practice session, and a 30-second test. It has a built-in, rubber torso, or manikin, to guide proper hand placement as well as compression rate and depth and offers real-time feedback to strengthen the technique.

In July, Buffalo Bills fans were the first to use the teaching tool.  Several thousand fans stepped up for the training during Buffalo Bills Camp.

“Each of us has the power in our own hands to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest. We simply need to know what to do and have the confidence to act. With the support from UR Medicine, having these training kits available for loan throughout the Monroe County Library System will help give more people access to that confidence,” Salley Thornton, chairperson of the American Heart Association Rochester Advisory Board, said.

Currently, the training station is housed at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County for patrons, residents, and anyone who works downtown. The training station will move to various locations around the region, expanding access to this lifesaving technique. To find out where it is, go to: