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Hands Only CPR

Logo for Hands Only CPR initiative.

Lend a Hand. Save a Life.

This year, about 360,000 Americans will suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Many of these men and women will die because they do not receive any form of CPR at the scene. For every minute that passes without CPR, a victim's odds of survival decrease by 10 percent.

You can help. Hands Only CPR is a very simple technique that anyone can perform in an emergency. It does not require mouth-to-mouth contact and keeps the victim's blood flowing until help arrives. Best of all, it's just as effective as traditional CPR.

For victims of SCA, bystanders like you offer their best chance for survival. You can't hurt; you can only help.

Three Simple Steps

Unlike traditional CPR, the Hands Only technique consists of just three simple steps:

  1. Call 911.
  2. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest.
  3. If possible, use a portable defibrillator, also known as an AED.

View the Video

See a demonstration of Hands Only CPR in action, courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Available in Spanish.

Find Training

The Baltimore County Fire Department offers free Hands Only CPR classes at convenient locations throughout the County. Find a training location and sign up now. Hands Only CPR is not a certification course.

Alternatively, the Fire-Rescue Academy offers certification courses for standard CPR.

Contact Us

For more about Hands Only CPR, including information on training and community awareness events, contact the Baltimore County Fire Department at 410-887-4860 or

Revised April 6, 2016         


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