Bills’ Damar Hamlin joins Carolina Panthers for CPR training event

Damar Hamlin participates in CPR training in Charlotte with Carolina Panthers
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 6:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Inside the Atrium Health Dome on Monday, there was a different mission: one that didn’t require anyone to put on a helmet and pads.

Instead, there was a bigger lesson -- one that is possibly life-saving.

“I always grew up wanting to be a football player, wanting to make it to the NFL. This situation has just brought a whole bigger life purpose for me,” said Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin.

Hamlin teamed up with the Carolina Panthers and the American Heart Association to bring awareness about the importance of learning CPR. Inside the dome Monday, players, staff members, and PSL owners received the opportunity to learn the valuable skill.

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 3 out of 4 cardiac arrests happen in homes so knowing how to perform CPR is critically important.

“I just want to keep raising awareness and trying to get as many people that we can CPR certified because you never know when you can be a hero,” Hamlin said.

The Buffalo Bills safety suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during a Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2.

CPR and an AED saved his life.

“It was about really giving everyone the education and the certification for CPR and really not stopping here and continuing to do it,” said Nicole Tepper.

Training also included how to recognize an emergency and how to use an automated external defibrillator.

“Any person anywhere that suffers a cardiac arrest should have that chain of survival available to them and that’s why trainings like this are so,” said Nancy Brown with the American Heart Association.

Players, including punter Johnny Hekker, also attended.

“To be a part of this event. Thanks Nicole and Dave for putting this all together. This is just [an] initial stone throw that will have ripple effects that will keep people in the Carolinas you know wherever we go. This isn’t just something that stays here,” he said.

The hope is to take the training into the community.

“To take this to schools in the Carolinas and making sure that they have all the resources they need for you know, Pop Warner sports, high school sports not only just sports, but in the space where they can be ready to go,” Tepper said.