N.H. middle school to receive schoolwide CPR training
Eight American Ambulance employees will lead the training sessions, which will be held in classrooms throughout the day
Foster's Daily Democrat
SOMERSWORTH, N.H. — Students who attend Somersworth Middle School on Friday will leave better prepared to save a life.
American Ambulance Service of Somersworth is hosting a daylong CPR training session at the school for all 450 students. The large-scale training is believed to be among the first of its kind in New Hampshire.
“I have certainly never heard of a health-care provider being able to train an entire building at once,” Principal Dana Hilliard said. “At the end of the day, 450 kids in the community will be trained in basic CPR.”
American took over the city’s ambulance contract last year. That agreement calls for the company to provide quarterly CPR initiatives, according to Scott Schuler, the company’s Somersworth operations manager.
“We thought, ‘How can we get the largest number of people at once?’” he said. “We looked at the schools as the perfect place to be able to do that.”
Eight American Ambulance employees will lead the training sessions, which will be held in classrooms throughout the day. Students will have a chance to train and practice on life-size mannequins.
“We are teaching the American Heart Association hands-only CPR, which is basically designed for a non-healthcare, non-professional person to be able do to CPR,” he said, noting that the training does not include mouth-to-mouth.
Scientific data has shown chest compressions — which circulate blood throughout the body — are effective during emergencies.
“It used to be that we emphasized having to breathe for (the victim), but we realized that every time we would stop pumping on the chest to breath for them, it was letting blood flow back into heart,” Schuler said.
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is giving T-shirts to every middle school student who completes the training and also offering use of its CPR mannequins. Dover Fire Department also is sharing mannequins for the day.
Wentworth-Douglass spokeswoman Noreen Biehl said the facility was happy to participate.
“CPR can save someone’s life and teaching them how to do that makes a lot of sense,” she said, adding that the hospital also offers frequent CPR training courses.
Hilliard, also the city’s mayor, is grateful for the partnership with American Ambulance. He hopes it will lead to similar student-training sessions in the future, including a refresher course once this group of students reaches the high school.
Meanwhile, American will return on another day to train the middle school’s 72 faculty and staff members.
“I definitely feel reassured that at the end of day Friday we will have an entire building capable of responding to an emergency,” Hilliard said.
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