As the end of summer draws near, schools across the country have been reopening their doors for the start of another school year. Students in high school returned to the classroom and began their studies of calculus, American literature, human health, and world history. Curriculums for these subjects change year to year with updated textbooks and enhanced teaching methods, but there is one proposed change that is catching everyone’s attention across the nation; required CPR and AED training for all students.
Lawmakers in California are looking to become the 35th state to require CPR instruction in all high schools. The proposed bill, AB-1719, would require instruction of students on compression only CPR and encourage the additional instruction of AED use before graduating. With this bill in place, California would join the likes of New York, Texas, Oregon, and Washington with "CPR in Schools" advancements.
Here at Cascade, we believe that the more people with life-saving skills, the better. Almost daily, we read about bystanders who step in and are able to save a victim’s life until paramedics arrive. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), bystander CPR can more than double a victim’s chance of survival. With more potential bystanders that are trained, we are creating a safer environment to live. Still not convinced? Here are some other reasons that students should obtain life-saving skills while in high school:
High school students are involved in all types of extracurricular activities ranging from traditional, such as football or the chess club, to the less conventional, like this Quidditch team. Regardless of what a student is involved in, there is a school activity for everyone and events occur around the clock. With a trained student population, school administrators and local officials can have peace of mind that there are at least a few people trained in resuscitation at every school function.
This is already coming to fruition; just last month a 17-year-old baseball player in Virginia saved his unconscious teammate’s life with on-field CPR. The player had collapsed on the field after being struck by the ball when his teammate began CPR (he learned from a lifeguard course earlier in the summer). Whether it is a sport-induced cardiac arrest or a spontaneous occurrence, having trained students greatly improves safety at these after hours events.
CPR is a lifetime skill that equips students to respond to emergencies long after they graduate. Even after five years pass since receiving training, students are still more likely to step in and perform provide care. According to the AHA, people that have had training within the past 5 years are twice as likely to begin CPR immediately in an emergency. When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, the seconds between collapse and receiving healthcare can be the difference between life or death. When we have students and recent graduates walking around with resuscitation skills, we are developing a healthier, smarter and proactive community.
Jumpstart a Career
It’s never too early to get the conversation started with students on their future aspirations, and CPR training just may trigger the interest of a future healthcare provider. As students are making big decisions on whether to attend college or learn a trade, exposure to health care practices gives a good sample of the dedication and commitment it takes to be a paramedic. Similar to learning the basics of economics or marketing, students get exposure to a skill that may help them decide on their career choice.
Cascade Training believes that every citizen is a caregiver, not just the paramedics. We also understand the importance of having trained bystanders administer aid while waiting on EMS to arrive, and strive to provide high impact training in a stress-free environment. Anything that can help save a life is something worth looking into, and we will continue to follow our mission of “Saving Lives through World-Class Training”. As you are stopped behind a school bus or are dropping your children off at school for the day, we encourage you to think about where you stand on required CPR training in high school.