Importance of First Aid/CPR in schools

Recently, an EMT squad unit in one of our district communities was dispatched to a house for an unresponsive adult female. The EMTs were told that the patient was not breathing, but CPR was in progress. When the squad arrived, a 16-year-old Westfall student was in the process of performing CPR chest compressions with the help of a sibling, working to keep the airway open. Upon initial inspection, the patient was not breathing and had no pulse. The EMTs were able to administer nasal Narcan, which brought the patient back and eventually became responsive. Thankfully, our Westfall student had performed at least 8 minutes of CPR, and the EMTs had a quick response. It's unsure what would have been the result of brain injury or worse had CPR not been performed before arrival. The patient does not appear to have any effects from this incident.

This Westfall student had just completed First Aid and CPR certification in Mr. Thomas' high school health class before the COVID-19 school closure. These classes make a world of difference, and we hope that we can continue to bring these classes to Westfall.

A few years ago, a second-grade student was saved by his lunch monitor in the school cafeteria. The second-grader was eating lunch when he suddenly choked on a piece of food, completely obstructing his airway. Realizing he was in trouble, the student notified the lunch monitor, who immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver. After a few abdominal thrusts, the food was dislodged, and the student was able to breathe on his own again. Thanks to our district nurse's annual staff training and refresher courses, the lunch monitor knew what to do during this emergency.

Emergencies cannot be predicted. The First Aid/CPR classes at Westfall Local Schools equip students and staff with life-saving skills to help save lives. Knowledge in First Aid and CPR builds a healthy and safer environment for everyone.