Nakusp students get CPR, defibrillator training

Advanced Coronary Training program visits high school

Harder then it looks, Jarrett Bass guides the students with form and count. Photo: Carmen Petrie

Teachers at Nakusp Secondary are passing on life-saving skills to their students.

In a day of workshops last week, staff at the school taught students CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator.

More than 25 students from Nakusp Secondary School now have the skills and knowledge to save lives.

The program was developed by the Advanced Coronary Training Foundation (ACT) specifically for high school students.

First, teachers were trained in CPR and AED by BC Emergency Health Services education officer Karly Jones, and are now enabled to train their students.

Last Thursday teachers put their new skills to the test, training two dozen students.

“As a founding partner of the ACT Foundation, we have proudly watched this program expand to communities from coast to coast,” says Jamie Freedman, president and CEO, AstraZeneca Canada.

“Not only are youth learning critical skills that stay with them for a lifetime, they also gain an appreciation of the science behind the techniques and, in some cases, go on to pursue careers in such areas as nursing, medicine, and emergency services.”

The secondary school received the donation of training mannequins, AED training units, curriculum materials, and program set-up. Nakusp Secondary is also receiving a defibrillator.

With eight in 10 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring at home or in public places, empowering youth with CPR training as part of their high school education will help increase citizen CPR response rates over the long term.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation says early CPR combined with early defibrillation can increase the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims by up to 75 per cent.

“Our front-line paramedics and dispatchers know bystander CPR saves lives,” says BCEHS vice-president, clinical and medical programs, Dr. John Tallon. “That’s why we’re so invested in helping to prepare future generations on how to help someone suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest.”

Every year approximately 45,000 BC students gain the information, skills, and confidence to help save lives through the ACT program.

ACT is a charitable organization that is establishing free CPR and defibrillator training programs in secondary schools throughout B.C. and across Canada. It worked in partnership with B.C. Emergency Health Services paramedics and staff, the Rotary Club of Nakusp, and Kootenay Savings Credit Union, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, and others to bring this program to Nakusp Secondary.


Under the experienced eye of Sandy from BC Ambulance, students practice chest compressions on dummies. Photo: Carmen Petrie

To the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees, students get the rhythm to save lives. Photo: Carmen Petrie

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