The Swiss Red Cross is running life-saving courses at 250 locations across the country on Saturday, in an event called "Cardiac Arrest - help with all your heart."
The events, part of the European Day of First Aid, are designed to show the public how to give Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, (CPR) which is crucial in the minutes following a cardiac arrest.
With the help of the Swiss Samaritans, the Swiss First Aid Society and the Swiss Association of Military Medical Services, people from Graubünden to Geneva will be shown CPR basics, and will have the opportunity to work with a resuscitation dummy. Other first-aid techniques will be demonstrated as well.
"Everyone can help someone who has a cardiac arrest," says Kurt Sutter, secretary of the Swiss Samaritans," All you need is the confidence to know what you are doing."
"We are all potential life savers but all too often we stand by passively and don't help. We want people to know how to give CPR. It isn't difficult and it can really save lives."
Every hour in Switzerland someone has a heart attack, and if emergency first aid is not available, the victims could die, or suffer lasting disabilities.
The CPR technique involves blowing air into the victim's lungs through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then pushing down repeatedly on the victim's chest to try to restart the heart.
Among the scheduled events, lifeguards from Rapperswil-Jona will stage a CPR marathon by applying life-saving techniques to a dummy non-stop during a 24-hour relay.
swissinfo with agencies