Atlanta Public Schools was presented with new CPR and First Aid Anytime Training kits from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Heart Association for all 17 high schools (11 traditional, 6 charter or partner schools) to help fulfill the CPR in Schools graduation requirement and create a new generation of lifesavers.
“This is a real skill that many people in the world need to be able to interact or react to dangerous situations or situations that someone may be in that needs some support,” Mays High School principal Ramon Garner said. “I feel really good to have students that I can send out to assist in those types of situations.”
Mays High School health and physical education teacher Natasha Harrigan led a small group of students through a brief CPR class using the tools provided in the new kit. The students were able to watch an instructional video and practice the life-saving technique on mannequins.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students to have a lifelong skillset to be able to try and save someone’s life,” Harrigan said.
Donald Addison, an 11th grade student at Mays, became a lifeguard last summer and was encouraged to know that his classmates will also have access to CPR training.
“The training helps us because if something happens at the school, there will be more people who know how to do CPR,” Addison said. “When a live situation is happening, we can help someone out while 911 is coming.”
Schools that participate in the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools program are equipped with a CPR in Schools Kit, which includes 10 Mini Anne Plus® inflatable manikins, practice-while-watching training DVDs, AED training simulators, a Facilitator Binder that contains lesson plans, replacement face masks and other materials to help ensure a successful and educational program.
“It is so important for kids to have these skills as they get older,” APS health and physical education coordinator Myss Johnson-Jelks said. “This gives them the skills they need to save a life and gives them the skills necessary to get certain jobs, whether it’s babysitting or being a lifeguard. These skills are super important because you never know when you may need to save a life.”
The power to save lives now rests in the hands of APS scholars, and the significance of this CPR training reverberates beyond the school walls.