AUSTIN, Texas, August 7, 2023 – The American Heart Association is working to build a Nation of Lifesavers through CPR education across Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is one of the first of many partners to bring this education to their employees. The TxDOT Hands-Only CPR initiative kicks off in Austin on August 15 as the first of two presentations on how to perform this life-saving skill. The goal is to eventually reach all 269 TxDOT offices throughout the state engaging nearly 13,000 employees.

“In many communities, the lack of access to care and distance to professionals means that bystander CPR is a matter of life and death,” said Vanessa Maldonado, executive director of the American Heart Association in Central Texas.

Over 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital every year, however, more than 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency. Immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival of cardiac arrest, but the current bystander intervention rate is only about 40%. By providing this opportunity to learn Hands-Only CPR, TxDOT is setting their employees up to be lifesavers for their families, friends, travelers and each other.

The training is an hour or less and can be held in-person or virtually. The American Heart Association provides easy to understand materials to help educate employees on this critical lifesaving skill.

“Partnering with American Heart Association is an extension of our ongoing commitment to a culture of health and safety. We know that the more employees who are confident to intervene in an emergency, means more potential lives saved,” said Gina Akin, TxDOT wellness program administrator.

For more information on how to join the mission of building a Nation of Lifesavers, please contact Community Impact Director Kelsey Williams at


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

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