A common question among those who are trained in CPR certification or First Aid certification is if it requires them to give aid in emergency situations. Often, many believe that once they are trained in any type of emergency care it becomes their legal obligation to provide help to those in need. In reality, though, 49 of the 50 states in the U.S. do not legally require lay persons to give medical aid; legal obligation only comes into play when giving aid is part of a job requirement for on-duty personnel, such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, or even State workers (checking your job description and list of duties is the best way to determine whether or not you are required to act in emergency situations while on duty). That being said, it is important to note that this general rule applies to 49 of the 50 states: Vermont is the only state that does not fit into this category as it does require its citizens to “give reasonable assistance” in the event they witness another human being in “grave physical harm.” Those in Vermont who refuse to give aid in these circumstances, with the only exception being immediate danger to themselves as a rescuer, will cost them a fine of $100.
For those not in Vermont: even though helping in emergency situations might not be a legal requirement, some might feel that being trained in life-saving techniques such as CPR or First Aid does give them a certain moral obligation to assist those in need. This is a kind of decision that needs to be made individually and in advance. The last thing you want to do is find yourself in the middle of a medical emergency and then be conflicted, hesitating to act when perhaps only seconds hang in the balance of life or death for the victim. If you are trained in CPR or First Aid or if you are thinking of obtaining online CPR or First Aid certification, you might need to take some time to consider your willingness to act in an emergency situation; your decision now might help to save a life later. If you are in need of CPR or First Aid certification click here.