Is CPR Training an “Essential Service”?
By Tiffany Donaldson, Esq.
April 10, 2020
With all of the recent closures, CPR training providers leave themselves asking: Is CPR Training an “Essential Service”?
The legal answer is that the determination is based on your state’s definition of “Essential Service.” Each state has defined the term “Essential Service,” either through an Executive Order issued by the Governor, or otherwise through state statute. In order to review what is considered an “Essential Service” in your state, search your Governor’s web page for the text of the Executive Order referencing “Essential Services.” You can reach out to the Governor’s office in your state for assistance.
In NY, “Essential Services” is defined by Executive Order 202.6 and is further defined by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD). The NY definition of “Essential Services” includes “Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, . . . and essential operations of . . . businesses including law enforcement, fire prevention and response, emergency management and response, and EMS and 911 dispatch.”
CPR training is a service that is required to keep first responders trained and certified to practice first response techniques. Also, as trained first responders take ill due to exposure to COVID-19, reinforcements need to be trained so that they are prepared to step in. Because CPR training is an important first responder support service, it is highly likely that CPR training courses are Essential Services under the NY legal definition. If you are unsure if your NY business is an essential service, but believe it should be, you may request designation here: https://esd.ny.gov/content/request-designation-essential-business-purposes-executive-order-2026.
Those holding CPR training courses during the pandemic will need to modify the courses to comply with the safety and social distancing measures in place in the State. This includes conducting portions remotely, if possible, limiting in-person class sizes to as small as possible, and utilizing manikins in place of humans for skills practice. CPR trainers should include training on how first responders can protect themselves from contracting Coronavirus when helping others, considering the potential that persons they assist may have Coronavirus.