Carmen's Fund

Build a Community of Everyday Heroes

The mission of Carmen's Fund is to build a community of everyday heroes by providing AED, CPR and emergency intervention training aligned with established national standard curriculum. Carmen's Fund focuses on providing classes for Upper Cumberland non-profit organizations and individuals who may struggle to access training elsewhere.

Carmen's Fund classes follow American Heart Curriculum, offering free classes for K-12 teachers, and free "Friends and Family" tract classes for individuals associated with a non-profit organization. Additionally, we offer non-profit affiliates the option for Heartsaver CPR, AED and First Aid classes at a reduced fee fo $10 per person. This represents a reduction from the normal $20 certification fee. 

Carmen's Fund is a donation driven program. We rely on donations and fundraising events so that we may pay instructors teaching courses, subsidize the cost of class booklets, subsidize the cost for K-12 teacher certification, and reduce the cost of American Heart certification from $20 to $10 for non-profit participants that select those classes. The primary annual fundraiser for Carmens Fund is the Ride to the Sky cycling event. 

To schedule a class please email or call 931-783-2003


Carmen's Fund classes follw established American Heart Association cirriculum. 

American Heart Curriculum

Per Person Cost

K-12, Per PERSON Cost

Average Time

Friends & Family



1-1.5 hours

Heartsaver CPR AED



2 hours

Heartsaver CPR AED First Aid



3.5-4 hours

K-12 classes are reserved for school system teachers and support staff active in a K-12 setting. 
All other classes are intended for employees and volunteers of Upper Cumberland non-profit organizations. 
We are happy to set up classes for Church or Civic Groups. 

Certification Cards are delivered through the American Heart Email system. 

About Carmen

Even after her untimely death, Carmen Burnette’s legacy of community service continues to enrich the lives of others.  As a wife, mother, first-responder, EMT-Paramedic, Field Training Officer, and CPR Coordinator, Carmen’s passion for making a difference is exemplified through the thousands of lives touched by her dedication to promoting heroism through selflessness.  She began her work as an emergency medical technician in 1998 and quickly became a well-known face in her community of Putnam County, Tennessee.  Carmen earned her paramedic license in 2000 and was soon selected as one of the first field training officers with Putnam County EMS in 2002.  She was the Putnam County EMS CPR Coordinator from the inception of the program and until her untimely death. In this role, she was responsible for scheduling CPR / AED training for county employees, local church groups, the Boys State Program and students at the county’s local high schools.

In 2009, Carmen was awarded a District IV Homeland Security Award for “exemplifying the highest standards of a first responder, always going above and beyond expectations to deliver excellent patient care.”  Carmen was again afforded this honor on September 11, 2011 (posthumusly) and her award was received by her son Brandon Burnette.

Throughout her 13-year career, Carmen was a five-time recipient of the Putnam County EMS “Lifesaver Award” for succesful cardiac resuscitations and a shared recipient of the State of Tennessee EMS “Star of Life Award” for outstanding life support related to the successful resuscitation of a cardiac patient.  He attended her funeral.

Under her nine-year leadership as CPR Program Coordinator for the Putnam County EMS, more than 14,000 residents of Putnam County were trained or retrained in CPR/AED use.  In July of 2011, a few months after Carmen’s death, a former student used the life saving skills learned in Carmen’s CPR training class to save the life of his 3-year old brother who was injured in a swimming pool accident.

In January 2011 Carmen sustained a back injury while on the job.  On February 15th, 2011 during corrective surgery to repair this injury, she suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.  Carmen was 38 years old at the time of her passing.  She leaves behind a loving husband, Mike; her two sons, Brandon and Connor; and a step-daughter, Rachel.

In April 2012, state of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill requiring Tennessee High School students receive “hands on” CPR training in addition to the cognitive skills being taught.  This Bill was named the CARMEN BURNETTE Act of 2012.  To further memorialize her life of love and service Carmen will be permanently remembered on the National EMS Memorial Tree of Life in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The official service will be held in June 2012 recognizing her and eighteen others for their sacrifice in the line of duty.

Letter from Mike

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the CARMEN BURNETTE CPR EDUCATION FUND welcome to the website.  Your support in our endeavor to promote CPR education in Carmen’s name honors her memory and is a tribute to her professional life.  It is our desire to benefit the community for years to come.  Through private contributions and your continued support of our fund raising efforts we will accomplish her dream of bringing CPR training and education to everyone within the State of Tennessee.  With this program we hope to positively impact everyone we encounter and ultimately save lives.

Carmen was not only a wonderful wife, mother and friend, she was my best friend.  Her laughter and joy for life were contagious.  She was just as passionate in her role as “baseball, basketball and soccer mom” as she was about her professional life.  Carmen loved her EMS career and always believed in giving that extra effort to insure quality work.  Among her most valued accomplishments were the many awards and accolades she received related to CPR Education and successful cardiac resuscitations.  The Carmen Burnette CPR Education Fund is a continuation of Carmen’s life of love and service that ended too soon.  Carmen truly believed that a properly trained layperson could make a difference in the successful resuscitation of a stranger, family member, or friend using life saving CPR.  She believed in the EVERYDAY HERO and worked tirelessly to provide CPR education to over 13,000 laypersons during her tenure as the CPR Coordinator at Putnam County EMS.

I am proud to carry the torch for CPR education on Carmen’s behalf and look forward to working with you to make a difference in her honor!

You can be a hero too,