2016-11-24 / Front Page

Students Put CPR Skills to the Test

Cedarville Project Is Community Effort
By Erich T. Doerr


High school students at the Les Cheneaux Community Schools surround a dummy in the hallway portraying a person in trouble during a mock emergency Wednesday morning, November 9. The students learned how to do CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) Monday, November 7, and had to put both skills to the test in this followup exercise with students splitting up to do CPR, retrieve the AED, and call 911. Those taking part in the exercise here include (front, from left) Sean Bale, Isabella Cason, Carolina Cabello, Lily Freel, Eden Preston, Ashley Kasper, (back, from left) Morgan McLeod, school superintendent Randy Schaedig, and Caleb Robinson. High school students at the Les Cheneaux Community Schools surround a dummy in the hallway portraying a person in trouble during a mock emergency Wednesday morning, November 9. The students learned how to do CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) Monday, November 7, and had to put both skills to the test in this followup exercise with students splitting up to do CPR, retrieve the AED, and call 911. Those taking part in the exercise here include (front, from left) Sean Bale, Isabella Cason, Carolina Cabello, Lily Freel, Eden Preston, Ashley Kasper, (back, from left) Morgan McLeod, school superintendent Randy Schaedig, and Caleb Robinson. The Les Cheneaux Community Schools high school students were trained and tested in lifesaving techniques earlier this month using a new program resulting from a partnership between the schools and Clark Township EMS. The students’ lessons focused on a compression-only type of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) as basic techniques to help someone in trouble until professional help arrives, greatly improving survival rates.

This was the first year for the training program, but program organizers hope to make it an annual lesson for all Cedarville high school students. Under the plan, freshmen this year will go through the training during all four years of their tenure at the school. Staff members at the school received similar training before the 2016-17 school year began.

“This will be a good partnership,” Clark Township EMT Neil Sage said.

This year’s training included 88 students, with fewer than 10 having any previous CPR training. The students were taught how to do CPR and use the AED during a one-hour session Monday, November 7, before getting their experience tested with a simulated emergency situation at the school Wednesday morning, November 9.

The training focused on getting all the students to work together as a team to maximize the patient’s survival chances with a fast response. Students were taught how to do CPR compressions and the importance of starting the process as soon as possible, building in a multi-person rotation cycle so when one person gets tired, another with fresh arms can take over for continuous CPR. While this takes place, other students are instructed to go call 911 and retrieve the AED from its storage location. The school’s AED it is kept just outside the gymnasium door. When it is removed for use, it sounds a buzzer to let people know someone is in trouble. Once the AED is activated, the defibrillator gives vocal instructions on how to properly use it.

The November 9 test involved the placement of a dummy in a hallway to represent a patient. Students were not told when the test would occur in advance, but when it did they were instructed to treat the dummy as an unresponsive person and they sprang into action. Two students started alternating on compressions while others took up the 911 and AED tasks. Within moments, some of the students returned with the AED and prepared to use it. During the training session November 7, the students were taught how to cut the clothes off a patient if needed, but in the test a student just pulled the shirt out of the way as they got to work. Students Isabella Cason and Ashley Kasper performed CPR during the test, switching whenever the other got tired, as trained.

“This was really good practice,” Isabella said afterward, noting it really got the adrenaline flowing. “You have to react right now, just like if this were a real person.”

“It was better than doing this in a classroom with a dummy they hand to you,” Ashley said.

Mr. Sage and Clark Township EMS believe the students performed very well on the test. They praised how the students were very quick to begin compressions and get the AED and required only a little coaching to complete the job.

The test was followed by discussion on what the students can expect to be asked by a 911 operator during an emergency. The typical information the operator will ask for includes the patient’s gender, an estimated age, their location in the school, checking to see if they have a pulse, and if there is anyone present who is comfortable doing CPR. Only three of the exterior doors at the Les Cheneaux schools are kept unlocked so the student on the phone will have to direct the ambulance to the open door nearest the patient, possibly with another going to hold it open. Having another student contact the office to get information about the patient was another suggestion from the discussion.

Clark Township EMS is expanding its training efforts throughout the Les Cheneaux area. A similar training program will take place at Cedarville’s Great Lakes Boat Building School in January 2017, with another program coming up at the Hessel Community Tribal Center. A CPR and AED training session open to the public takes place at the Les Cheneaux Community Library in Cedarville on the second Thursday of every month, although there is no December program. Those who are interested in learning CPR can also contact the service by e-mail at clarkcprprograms@gmail.com. The training is done through a partnership with the Michigan Resuscitation

Consortium.

Today there are more than 30 AEDs located throughout public areas in the Les Cheneaux Islands and an additional four private ones located in some homes. Local offices, businesses, clubs, churches, marinas, the Clark Township Community Center, the library, and the Hessel Kewadin Casino are among the locations that now house a defibrillator.

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