Twenty-four paramedic students with previous basic life support training were randomised, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a manikin for 3 min without any feedback followed by 3 min of CPR with audio feedback from the manikin after a 2-min break, or vice versa. A computer recorded information on timing, ventilation flow rates and volumes and all movements of the sternum of the manikin. The software allowed acceptable limits to be set for all ventilation and compression/release variables giving appropriate on-line audio feedback according to these settings from among approximately 40 pre-recorded messages. Students who started without feedback significantly improved after feedback in terms of the median percentage of correct inflations (from 2 to 64%), with most inflations being rapid before feedback (94%), compressions of correct depth (from 32 to 92%), and the duration of compressions in the duty cycle (from 41 to 44%). There were no problems with the median compression rate, sternal release during decompressions, or the hand position, even before feedback. There were no significant differences in any variables with and without feedback for the students who started with feedback, or between the audio feedback periods of the two groups. It is concluded that this automated voice advisory manikin system, a novel approach to basic CPR training, caused an immediate improvement in the skills performance of paramedic students.