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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Boston Public Schools and the American Heart Association Kick Off Initiative to Train District's 17,000 High-School Students in Lifesaving Skills

Boston Public Schools and the American Heart Association Kick Off Initiative to Train District's 17,000 High-School Students in Lifesaving Skills
Hands-only CPR kits will be distributed to all BPS High Schools
BOSTON — Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 — The American Heart Association (AHA) today recognized the Boston Public Schools (BPS) for its implementing “Hands-Only CPR” curriculum for the district’s nearly 17,000 high school students during an event at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School where a physical-education class received a 30-minute training session in the lifesaving skills.
“Thanks to the generous support of the American Heart Association and its funders, we are making it a priority to teach our high school students hands-only CPR as part of the health-related fitness component of their physical-education classes,” said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. “We are really excited that we are giving our schools the tools to turn students into potential lifesavers in their communities.”
The AHA, through funding provided by the Amos Fleischer Foundation, Bruins Foundation, ARC Light and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, is providing BPS a total of 47 CPR-In-School Bags and 280 CPR Anytime Kits to be used to train students and other members of their school communities. The training bags and kits, which include “MiniAnne” CPR mannequins and instructional DVDs, are valued at more than $41,000.
“The American Heart Association is creating a generation of lifesavers by making sure students learn CPR before they graduate,” said Jay Blackwell, executive director and vice president of development of the American Heart Association. “Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical life skills—and lifesaving skills—that make our communities safer, year after year. We are proud to partner with the Boston Public Schools to ensure that the city’s youth are empowered to help save lives.”
All BPS 9-12th grade students, as well as some 8th grade students, will be trained annually in CPR during physical-education class as part of their school’s health and fitness curriculum. To date 45 teachers at 25 schools have already received training and kits.
According to the AHA, more than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and about 90 percent of those victims die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
Hands-Only CPR, recommended for use on teens and adults, requires less training than conventional CPR (with mouth-to-mouth breaths) and has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR in the first few minutes of a sudden, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
“Having BPS high schools train our students in CPR will provide our young adults the ability to know what to do during those precious few minutes after someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest,” said Amalio Nieves, BPS Assistant Superintendent of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. “This knowledge can empower students to take ownership of a situation and help possibly save the life of a parent, relative, friend or even a complete stranger.”

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