Nine out of 10 victims of sudden cardiac arrest die. If you live in the Shenendehowa Central School District, your chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest might be higher than average, since students in that district all learn Hands-Only CPR before graduation. Teaching CPR is part of the district’s formal policy. The American Heart Association has recognized Shenendehowa as the first school district in the Capital Region as a CPR Smart School. Shen students clicked to the beat on Stayin' Alive to show just how easy it is to perform Hands-Only CPR.
“It’s our great pleasure to recognize Shenendehowa as a CPR Smart School,” said Bob Elling, paramedic and chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “We know that having CPR performed doubles or triples the chances of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. On Monday, members of the New York State Board of Regents expressed support for CPR in Schools, and are now calling for regulations so that all New York students learn Hands-Only CPR before graduation. Shenendehowa has shown great foresight – and concern for its citizens – by creating an army of lifesavers in this district before law requires it.”
To qualify for the American Heart Association’s CPR Smart program, school districts must implement a written policy whereby students learn CPR and AED use prior to graduation.
Sudden cardiac arrest survivor Jeff Keene also shared his story of being saved by CPR. And his wife also shared what it was like to watch. “On Christmas day, 2007, while at church, my husband went into cardiac arrest. Within minutes, he could have died,” said Julie Keene, who works for the Shenendehowa Central School District. “Because one person, a complete stranger, had the courage and knowledge to begin CPR on him, he is alive and thriving today.”
“As a district, we have a firm commitment to providing our students with a wide variety of experiences and skills,” said Dr. Oliver Robinson, superintendent of Shenendehowa Central School District. “The ability for them to save a life by learning CPR is of tremendous value. We applaud the efforts of the American Heart Association to make this a given component of the school curriculum.”
"Clifton Park & Halfmoon Emergency Corps is proud to partner with the Shenendehowa School District in providing CPR and AED training to its staff, which will strengthen Shenendehowa's solid commitment to their student and staff safety,” said Eric Hanchett of Clifton Park Halfmoon EMS, who has worked with Shen staff on training students in Hands-Only CPR. “By translating our real life experience and expertise, we can offer simplified, Hands-Only CPR & AED training, creating empowered students who will be ready and confident to take life-saving action when needed. We are excited about this collaboration and the potential we have to build a safer community together."
The student were led by their Health Education teacher, Pam Woloszyn.
“As a health educator, we have a responsibility to not only teach students the skills to perform CPR, but first and foremost to make them feel empowered to step in and ACT!” said Pamela Woloszyn. “Hands-Only CPR truly gives everyone the opportunity to save a life and that’s what I try to inspire students to do. Through empowerment and inspiration comes engagement and the students feel they truly can make a difference and help others in a time of crisis.”
“The district has provided education in CPR and AED for over 15 years,” said Rebecca Carman, director of policy and community development for the Shenendehowa Central School District. “This is a program that has little cost to the district. CPR is a life skill that every student should be exposed to.”
Thanks to all the students, board members, teachers, school administrators and Dr. Robinson for supporting this lifesaving lesson!