Training empowering students and school staff to save lives

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) has announced its commitment to ensuring students and staff are trained

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) has announced its commitment to ensuring students and staff are trained in CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) awareness training.

More than 5,000 students and staff throughout the district have been trained in the recent initiative, including at École Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake.

Students in Grades 5, 8 and 10 receive the training, which was implemented to empower students and staff to save lives by teaching them how to react in applicable situations.

“(The initiative is) not only about purchasing equipment in hopes people know what to do and how to react,” said Lisa Vogt, RDCRS occupational health and safety co-ordinator in a release. “Our training program allows our students and staff to be prepared and ready to act in an emergency situation.”

In stressing the importance of the training, RDCRS points to a Heart and Stroke Foundation statistic that indicates between 800 and 1,300 deaths occur in Canadian children due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). Of those deaths, about 75 per cent take place at school.

“The division saw the opportunity to have these lifesaving devices in schools and acknowledged the need for training on a wide scale,” said Roselien Christensen, Canadian Red Cross First Aid CPR and AED trainer. “So wide, in fact, that It did not limit to just a few individuals being trained, but a whole culture of awareness and hands-on training in each school.”

The training has also had something of a ripple effect, Christensen added: students and staff often share what they’ve learned with family and friends, and may also make use of it away from school.

A monthly maintenance plan has been implemented to ensure all equipment remains ready for use.

RDCRS also announced recently that 30 per cent of its employees have Standard First Aid certification.