OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — Just a matter of minutes could mean the difference between life and death for someone in cardiac arrest.

Health officials all across the country are encouraging people to be familiar with at least basic CPR.

This is following the collapse of NFL player Damar Hamilin just one week ago.

The training staff at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital held an advanced cardiac life support class on the campus of Wheeling University on Tuesday. They say an incident could happen anywhere at anytime and having a trained person with proper equipment nearby is essential.

“The initial response in a patient in cardiac arrest is the most important. Those first few minutes are vital in saving someone’s life. If you do not get started in your basic CPR early on, the chance of survival diminishes every minute that goes by.”

Kelly Matvsic, Training Coordinator, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

“About 5 years ago, I was at a supermarket and a woman collapsed and people were just standing around, and I went up to see if she was ok. She was not breathing. I started performing CPR and was asking for an AED and the store did not have one.”

Marissa Montgomery. ER Nurse. WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

The training staff at WVU Medicine also encourages all families to purchase a Family and Friends CPR training kit offered by the American Heart Association. It includes an instructional DVD that provides step-by-step directions. They also contain adult and infant mannequins.

For more information, you can go to the American Heart Association website