Bay Area CPR & ACLS Scams & Rip-offs


Quick Checklist

1. Make sure the courses you take are American Heart Association.

2. Do not give out your credit card number.

3. Deal with a local company with a solid reputation

4. Make sure the CPR company issues the cards on the day of the class.

5. Review their cancellation policy.

6. Do your research. Do not get tricked.

7. Do not take an online CPR class (eLearning is acceptable).

8. Please let us know if you have been scammed by a CPR company.

9. If you work in a child care center in California, you must have American Heart Association training.


Being trained in CPR can save lives. Many Bay Area employers require their staff to obtain CPR training prior to starting work or training, and many people choose to learn CPR simply because they are interested in learning to save the life of a family member or friend in an emergency. Here are some Bay Area schemes and scams involving CPR classes.

Online CPR Classes
Over the past few years, online CPR training companies have burst out. Some people are looking for an easy way to get their CPR certification and they have been scammed by these companies. These are not official CPR training classes and they even say for informational purposes in the fine print. However, we receive many students each week who have been paid between $20-$40 for these online CPR classes. The online CPR classes are not valid for any type of work, but in order to trick you, they say they will offer a 100% refund if your card is not accepted. That is nice of them but in order to receive your refund, you have to take a long form to your supervisor to fill out. Most people don’t do this since the supervisor will realize that you tried to get a fake CPR card instead of taking a real CPR class. They also ask you to send the card back to them with tracking which costs you $15 and you paid $20-$30 for the class so most people just give up. Don’t get scammed by these online CPR training companies.

The American Heart Association does not have any CPR classes that are conducted totally online. The AHA does have online classes that can be used in conjunction with hands on practice with an authorized instructor. There are several websites that offer cheap or free online CPR certification cards that claim to meet American Heart Association guidelines without any hands on practice. This can be extremely misleading as their online class may teach the AHA CPR recommendations, but these are not AHA classes. You will not receive a true American Heart Association certification card from these classes (although your card might state that it meets or teaches to AHA guidelines). CPR is a motor skill just like playing soccer or the piano. You cannot learn adequate CPR just by reading a course online. Many employers will not accept these online CPR certifications. All quality CPR classes, whether EFR, AHA, or ARC, require hands on practice with manikins, doing CPR. These hands on classes help develop muscle memory that in an emergency can be recalled easily.

The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association have conducted studies exploring how students can best learn CPR. These agencies, based on these studies, have set strict guidelines on the ratios of manikins to students, the amount of time student should practice CPR skills, and testing. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for agencies to police these guidelines. There are instructors who can cut costs by not maintaining manikin ratios and cutting class time. CPR is a motor skill that must be practiced. Saving money by selecting a cheaper instructor who does not give you a quality CPR class impacts your ability to perform CPR in a real emergency.
Safety Training Seminars does not offer online CPR classes but we do offer official American Heart Association eLearning CPR classes. These classes are taught part online and part in the classroom with a certified AHA CPR instructor.

Out of state CPR Companies
If you need to take a CPR training class, I recommend using a local CPR company that has been around for a while. There are a few out of state CPR training companies that are under investigation. Also if you lose your card, or if there is a problem it is much easier to deal with a local company. These out of state CPR companies set up classes in conference rooms around the Bay Area and if they do not hit a minimum number of students, the class is cancelled with only one days notice. That is not much fun if you need your CPR certification card right away. When a class is cancelled, instead of offering a refund, they tell you to take a class the next month. That is not much help if you need your certification card for work. Deal with a reputable local CPR company.
Safety Training Seminars is a local Bay Area CPR company that has been providing CPR classes since 1989.

Refund Policy
Most Bay Area CPR companies demand payment before your training and if you miss your class, you do not receive a refund. This strict policy is difficult since everyone has such busy lives: a child is sick, you get called in to work, you cannot attend since you are ill. However, at Safety Training Seminars, you only pay for the CPR class if you show up. But if you cannot attend, please call or email us to cancel so we can give you spot to someone else.
Safety Training Seminars has the most relaxed cancellation policy in the Bay Area – you only pay for the class if you attend.

Class cancellations
Most Bay Area CPR companies have a minimum number of students that must be met in order to hold the class. So if that minimum is not met, the class is cancelled with only one days notice. Safety Training Seminars teaches all our scheduled classes even if only one person shows up. We know people plan their schedules and people need their CPR certification cards for work requirements and it is not fair to cancel a class on short notice.
Safety Training Seminars always teaches their published CPR courses. 

American Heart Association CPR Card
There are many CPR Training Companies in the San Jose & San Francisco Bay Area that do not issue the CPR certification cards on the day of the class. The reason is since they are not an official AHA Training Site, they must process the AHA CPR cards through another training center which can take 2-4 weeks. Safety Training Seminars is an official American Heart Association Training Site so we are able to issue the CPR and ACLS cards on the day of the class.
You will receive your CPR card on the day of the class.

Group CPR Training Classes at your site
If you are trying to organize a group CPR training class at your site, you must do your homework to find a professional, local CPR training company. We come out to child care centers and companies all the time to train staff that were recently trained with an unauthorized provider. How would you like to explain to your staff of 20 to come back to take another 6 hour CPR and First-aid class since the other they took was not valid?
Safety Training Seminars will come out to your school, company, or location and train your staff in CPR and issue official American Heart Association CPR cards. These AHA CPR cards are valid for EMSA certification for child care providers in California. 

Fake CPR Cards
The instructor who creates their own CPR cards that appear to be American Heart Association or Red Cross certification cards commits fraud or other penal violations, but this instructor can offer classes for dirt cheap, because he/she has no training organization to report to, and does not need to maintain manikin, instructor, and book ratios required by all major CPR training organizations. The good news is generally this offender eventually gets caught when an employer questions the validity of an employee’s CPR card. Beware of any CPR instructor who offers a CPR class for well below the industry norm. If your employees have fake CPR cards or you hire an instructor who issues fake cards, you expose yourself to a level of liability in the case of an emergency. If your employer (hospital, dental office, etc.) catches you with a fake CPR card, you can be fired.
Safety Training Seminars is an official American Heart Association Training Site and we issue American Heart Association CPR certification cards. 

See below for upcoming official American Heart Association CPR, BLS, ACLS, and First-aid courses.

San Francisco CPR & ACLS Courses

San Jose AHA CPR & ACLS Courses

Novato CPR Certification Courses

Concord CPR Certification Courses