For the security professional, you must be, at all times, prepared to handle an emergency. In the United States, the leading cause of death is Heart Disease, and someone suffering a medical emergency is likely to be a scenario you will encounter at some point in your career. Being properly certified to perform CPR will not only make you a more attractive candidate for employment, but will also give you the training to assess, and properly respond to an emergency situation until paramedics arrive. In 1991, the American Heart Association rolled out the "Chain of Survival," a simple way to remember what to do in the event of someone suffering cardiac arrest. Quick recognition and a response that uses AHA training can significantly improve chances of survival, with an emphasis on performing CPR as soon as possible.

The term Chain of Survival provides a useful metaphor for the elements of the Emergency Cardiovascular Care systems concept.

The 5 links in the adult Chain of Survival are:

• Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system. 911 should be contacted immediately and calmly given the address, and a description of the victim, and his symptoms.

• Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions.

• Rapid defibrillation

• Effective advanced life support

• Integrated post-cardiac arrest care

A strong Chain of Survival can improve chances of recovery for victims of heart attack, stroke, and other emergencies. This may naturally seem like an intimidating situation that should be handled by medical professionals, but with good training, certified by an appropriate agency, you will be prepared to properly respond to a cardiac emergency.