SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Members of the General Assembly were invited to get some hands-on life support training.

The Prairie Heart Institute, along with HSHS St. Johns Hospital, trained non-hospital workers to be CPR, BLS and AED certified.

Nurse Educator Alexis Williams says almost 50 percent of people who go into cardiac arrest don't receive CPR from a bystander, simply because most people don't know how to do it.

"475,000 people die annually from cardiac arrest." Williams said. "You never know when you're going to be somewhere when you need these skills."

State Rep. Mike Murphy (R- Springfield) says this training actually helped save his own life.

"Recently I had a choking incident, and I was choking and embarrassed. I didn't know what to do," Murphy said. "Senator Hastings was walking in, and he was able to save my life." 

Murphy says he wanted to be a part of this class so he could save someone's life in the future.

"I'd like to pay it forward one day and help someone if they ever needed it," Murphy said.

As of January 2019, CPR classes are now required to have feedback devices. These devices tell trainees if they are doing chest compressions deeply and quickly enough. 

The Prairie Heart Institute offers CPR classes every month.