Students at Diablo Vista Middle School now know their hands can do amazing things they can even save a life. During physical education classes on April 12, 275 students learned how to become citizen superheroes through the proper performance of hands-only CPR and use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).
Students learned if someone has a sudden cardiac arrest, their survival depends greatly on immediate CPR and AED use from someone nearby. They also learned that less than a third of those people who experience a cardiac arrest get the help they need to survive. Members of the San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Committee taught DVMS students to check a person who has collapsed, call 911 then push hard and fast in the center of the person's chest until help arrives.
"All of the instructors were so impressed with the willingness to learn that these students displayed," said Cliff Buxton, HeartSafe Committee member. "They really understood the importance of learning this life saving skill."
Each student was given the opportunity to practice their new skill on CPR manikins, while Fire District staff and HeartSafe Committee members answered questions and insured the students were using proper form. Students were also given an overview of AED's and how simple they are to use; presenters encouraged the students to not be afraid and that their actions can only help.
"We could not be more pleased at the success of this program," said Fire Marshal Christina Kiefer. "Our community is now a safer place for all who work and live in the valley and we look forward to expanding the reach of this program going forward."
The San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Community Committee is a part of the San Ramon Valley Citizen Corps Council. The Council is a partnership between the City of San Ramon, the Town of Danville, the Community of Alamo, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District.
Every San Ramon Valley Unified school has an AED and the Fire District was named a Heartsafe Community in 2011 for its use of an enhanced 911 system, specially trained first responders, providing the public with access to automated external defibrillators and having at least ten percent of its population trained in CPR, among other things.