Basic Adult CPR

Good to Know Info

For Compressions

  • Hand position: Draw an invisible line armpit to armpit, place your hands in the center.
  • Body position: Keep your shoulders directly over your hands with elbows locked.
  • Depth: At least 2 inches.
  • Rate: 100 to 120 per minute.
  • Allow chest to return to normal Draw an invisible line armpit to armpit, place your hands in the center.
  • Note: If there is another person able to assist with compressions, trade out every 2 minutes.

For Giving Breaths

  • Open the airway: to a past-neutral position using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique.
  • Pinch the nose shut, take a normal breath, and make complete seal over the person’s mouth with your mouth.
  • Ensure each breath lasts about 1 second and makes the chest rise; allow air to exit before giving the next breath.
  • Note: If the first breath does not cause the chest to rise, re-tilt the head and ensure a proper seal before giving the second breath If the second breath does not make the chest rise, an object may be blocking the airway.


  • Turn it on.
  • Follow the prompts.

How to Provide CPR

  • Check the scene for safety.
  • Check for responsiveness, breathing, life-threatening bleeding or other life-threatening conditions using shout-tap-shout.
  • If the person does not respond and is not breathing or only gasping, CALL 9-1-1 and get equipment, or tell someone to do so.
  • Place the person on their back on a firm, flat surface.
  • Give 30 chest compressions & 2 breaths, or provide compressions only until help arrives.
  • Use an AED as soon as one is available. Turn it on and follow the prompts and pictures as provided with the AED.

Compression Only CPR Brochure

Richland County EMS offers classes in CPR and first aid. Contact the office for more information.