Our goal is to offer you quality American Heart Association courses in a convenient, timely & professional manner. We offer a wide range of programs from Friends & Family CPR to ACLS & PALS training. Come join us in a class or have us travel to your group. Our instructors combined have over 70 years of experience in the healthcare field and 40 years teaching.

First Hands CPR courses are the real deal… We train in American Heart Association guidelines AND certify them as well.

In addition to our courses we offer gift certificates perfect for showers for Infant CPR courses or we can come to your shower and train your whole family!

We look forward to training you.


Tom Giesler

Tom Giesler has been a paramedic for 35 years. In his career he has worked as a flight medic, special operations lieutenant medic and served on the New Hanover County SMAT team that deployed to Waveland Mississippi post hurricane Katrina.

Tom currently works for Airlink/Vitalink as the department Education Coordinator for the critical care, speciality care and BLS/ILS teams at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Tom is a certified instructor for the American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, & PALS disciplines as well as a Department of Justice instructor for medical management of WMD’s.

Susan Giesler

Susan is the founder of First Hands CPR, Inc. and has worked in the Healthcare setting since 1979. A graduate of the University of Bridgeport Susan practiced as a Dental Hygienist in both general and surgical settings. During a recertification course at Parkway Medical Center, later Emory, in 2001 she was invited to take the AHA Instructors course. Upon completion of the program Susan was contracted to teach the hospitals’ BLS certification and recertification programs.  In May of 2015 Susan returned to school at Cape Fear Community college and completed the EMT and AEMT programs. After acheiving National Registry certification as an AEMT in  May of 2016 Susan went to work for Vitalink/Airlink.

Her client list includes Healthcare professionals, human resource agencies, utility companies, churches, therapeutic parent programs and school systems. Susan has also been a guest speaker offering courses in Medical Terminology and Intro to Anatomy.

Michael Perretta

My name is Mike Perretta and I have worked in the healthcare setting since 1979. Im a graduate from  Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport School of Nursing. At that time I also obtained an EMT certification from the State of Connecticut. I have mainly concentrated my career in the critical care/emergency dept setting with a concentration on Cardiology. I obtained my Paramedic certification in 2003 when I was hired as a flight Nurse. Also in the same year I became a certified instructor for the AHA in BLS and ACLS and a State EMS Instructor. In 2000 I received the American Heart Saver Award from the AHA for implementing AED’s in a hospital setting and for training all hospital personnel. I also published an article about this.
I’m currently employed at NHRMC. I work in the cardiac rehab department. I am also an adjunct professor for Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. I’ve been teaching an online medical terminology class  for 10 years. My wife an I moved to NC anticipating retirement in the next couple years.


Connie Gilroy

Connie is that pleasant voice you hear on the phone when you call the office. With a background in education Connie worked in NJ as a third grade teacher before relocating to Wilmington twenty-three years ago. Many of the Wilmington residents would recognize her as the “Plant Lady” as she worked with Foliage Designs for many years.