In 2016, Faith Regional Health Services and Nucor in Norfolk embarked on a mission to make sure that every school in the region has an American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools Training Kit™. The program enables students to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR in just one class period. One kit can train hundreds of people.
“We were really drawn to this project,” said Matt Blitch, Nucor Rolling Mill Manager. “Our partnership with Faith Regional gives us the opportunity to give to the community and impact as many people as we possibly could. I like how it involves the youth in the community. We are able to reach out to many communities in northeast and central Nebraska.”
According to Jenny Simmons, RN, chest pain and stroke coordinator at Faith Regional, taking hands-only CPR kits to the schools to teach students in grades 7 and 12 is one way to equip our communities with the basic knowledge and skills to save a life. “About 80% of cardiac arrests occur in non-hospital settings, often at home, with fewer than 10% of victims surviving,” said Simmons. “Basic CPR can sometimes be enough to keep a person alive until first responders arrive.”
The CPR training involves watching a video that covers information about recognizing when someone is having a heart attack, calling 9-1-1 and performing CPR until emergency responders arrive. CPR instructors demonstrate how to do chest compressions while students practice on inflatable mannequins. Training began in February, 2017 with a goal to visit 54 area schools this year. Some schools already participating include Elkhorn Valley Schools, Tilden; Trinity School and Madison Public School, Madison; Elgin Public School; Battle Creek Public School; St. John’s Lutheran School, Battle Creek; Chambers Public School; Stanton Public School; Crofton Public School; Atkinson West Holt Public School; Pierce Public School; Osmond Public School; and Wakefield Public School.
“As seniors graduate and move on to their next phase of life, they will find themselves in many social situations. Being able to respond in the case of an emergency without being afraid is the training we want to give these students,” added Simmons.