In Yavapai County, most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen when people are at home … learning CPR can save our loved ones

By Hilary Dartt

Lesa West is on a mission to teach people that learning CPR is important.

“When we understand how simple it is, and explain what happens to the body when we ‘push’ on the chest,” she said, “it is easier for people to comprehend because it makes sense.”

Lesa and her husband Dan West own New Life CPR in Prescott. During a recent interview, she said, “We need our community to grasp that cardiac arrests happen at home, and we need to be prepared to perform CPR in our living room.”

“I want people to be able to act, not think, and start the skills now. People need to understand they are 9-1-1 to the person who is down.”

In Yavapai County in 2019, 90 out of 95 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happened at home.   With traffic, construction, and large territories (especially in Yavapai County), first responders have a lot to accomplish to arrive to a scene, Lesa said, “so we need to always be prepared to help the ones we are with.”

While CPR is lifesaving, first aid is what we perform all the time, Lesa said. It is important to know how to take care of a non-life-threatening injury, so it does not become a life-threatening situation.  Bleeding, broken bones, bites, and stings happen all the time.  Also understanding Seizures, Inhalers, Diabetes, and Epi-pens to someone who might be in trouble.

“New Life CPR is here for our community,” Lesa said. The company offers classes in CPR and First Aid several times weekly, in their Prescott office, or by appointment on site at organizations.

Lesa explained that as science has changed over the years, there is a lot of emphasis in everyone acting as fast as possible during an emergency. That’s why she recommends everyone take CPR and First Aid classes, no matter what; we don’t use these skills every day, so keeping them updated and current in our memory is critical.

It’s also why she’s so focused on education; she’s the Education Chair for the Western States Region of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care. AHA trains millions of people globally every year about how to respond to cardiac arrest and first aid emergencies.

In 1989, Lesa and Dan started their first CPR- and First-Aid-training business, Heart Savers, in Phoenix. In 2011, they moved to Prescott to start a new life. Their son, Grant, died in a motorcycle accident the same year (he was 23 and had been a CPR instructor since he was 16 – the youngest American-Heart-Association-certified Instructor at that time). Grant was an organ donor, so he helped so many people create a new life. Lesa and Dan donated his body to the University of Arizona Medical School, which she considers his way of teaching his last class. New Life became very important to Lesa and Dan. That is why they called their business New Life CPR … to provide new beginnings for individuals, families, and friends.

In addition to her work through Heart Savers and New Life CPR, Lesa had the “wonderful opportunity” to be on the team who helped write Arizona’s legislation to create the Public Access Defibrillation program, which places Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, in public places, in 2009.

Lesa said she hears from many people who are uncertain about using AEDs, and she explained that AEDs cannot hurt someone whose heart is working properly (they won’t shock if the heart is in normal rhythm).

Lesa is passionate about placing AEDs in this community and across Arizona. New Life CPR has many clients throughout the state and Lesa made it a mission to help equip the businesses in the Quad City area. Schools statewide and locally have AEDs, as do Yavapai County, the City of Prescott, the Towns of Chino Valley and Prescott Valley, many more including medical facilities, churches, businesses, gyms, and community centers.

Lesa said New Life CPR staff help AED clients keep pads and batteries updated. She recommended that people ask where AEDs are located when they’re out in public: “AEDs are in the public for you.”

“I take this personal,” she said. “If I go down, somebody better know CPR, and there better be an AED!”

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s resources for those who experience heart attack or stroke symptoms, visit

New Life CPR is at 3767 Karicio Lane in Prescott. Learn more at For more information or to schedule classes for your group or organization, call 928.445.5024, or email [email protected].