(INDIANAPOLIS) - More than 315,000 Indiana high school students will learn CPR during the next four years thanks to a new law that went into effect July 1 requiring all high schools to provide instruction in the life-saving skill.
On Wednesday, six schools in Clinton County got a start on the process when the American Heart Association donated six "CPR in Schools Training Kits" to help them comply with the law. The kits, which each include 10 reusable manikins that can be used to train hundreds of students in CPR, were presented to representatives of Frankfort High School, Rossville Senior High School, Clinton Central Jr./Sr. High School, Clinton Prairie Jr./Sr. High School, New Hope School and Nouthesia Christian School.
"The American Heart Association is excited to see a new generation of lifesavers getting training in CPR," said Danielle Patterson, the association's government relations director in Indiana. "We appreciate the work of Rep. Ron Bacon, the General Assembly, the Department of Education and our donors for coming together to equip students with the life-saving skill of CPR that strengthens the chain of survival and benefits us all."
Rep. Bacon, who authored the bill, and Glenda Ritz, Indiana's Superintendent for Public Instruction, participated in the presentation.
"Unfortunately, sudden cardiac arrest continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States," Rep. Bacon said. "While the American Heart Association has told us that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim's chance of survival, 70 percent of Americans either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. I am honored to be able to call the American Heart Association an ally in our fight to ensure that every high school student in Indiana graduates with the skills necessary to save a life."
The donation of the training kits, which typically cost $599, was made possible by a bequest to the American Heart Association to support its mission in Clinton County.
"We at the Department of Education know that it is a huge task to implement a program like this statewide," Ritz said. "That's why we are so grateful that groups like the American Heart Association are willing to step in and help by donating equipment to our schools."
In 2013, the American Heart Association trained more than 285,000 Indiana residents in CPR as part of its mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That figure will grow as the training is implemented in every high school in the state.
"Back in May, the Frankfort High School nurse and administration looked at how the curriculum for Health classes needed to include CPR and AED training, including hands on practice," said Frankfort principal Steve Edwards. "We realized the importance of preparing young people for what to do in emergency situations. People have saved lives because of quick response, calling 911, CPR, AED usage, and knowing other techniques for helping people in trouble."
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases - America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit heart.org.
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