VERSAILLES — Ohio State Senator Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) thought passing Senate Bill 113, was a good choice.
“Hands-only CPR and AED training equips individuals to respond to calls for help,” he said. “When lives are on the line, Ohio needs more good samaritans and fewer helpless victims.”
According to the law, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, public schools (except for e-schools and community schools that primarily serve students with disabilities) are required to provide students instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The law requires one 30-minute CPR training session during some point in a student’s four years of high school. In addition, each school district and community school (except for any e-school or community school that primarily serves students with disabilities) is to provide training in the use of an AED to each person employed by that district or school, by July 1, 2018, and once every five years thereafter.
Students may be excused from the CPR and AED instruction requirement if the student’s parent or guardian requests it in writing or the student is a child with a disability and is incapable of performing the required skills.
“If even one life is saved, this legislation is a worthwhile investment,” Beagle said.
According to Associate Director for Media Relations, Ohio Department of Education Brittany Halpin, school curriculas are decided at the local level. What does that mean for the local school districts?
Versailles Exempted Village Schools (VEVS) Superintendent Aaron Moran already has the ball rolling.
Versailles School Nurse Tracy Cordonnier teaches high school sophomores through the health class. This semester she has 66 students who will be certified in CPR after five days at 45 minutes per day.
“We thought if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right,” she said. “The law requires at least 30 minutes. That is not long enough to learn to save someone’s life.”
The training begins with some videos. The students watch, but when Cordonnier shows a video of a school gym with a student victim, they really lean in.
“A lot of times we think about giving CPR to someone older,” she said. “This could happen here.”
After the videos, the students practice on the mannequins, which were purchased from a donation from TASKS, Inc. Included in the recent purchase were six adult, one child and six infant mannequins and five AED trainers. The AEDs are fully automated with voice prompts and a metronome to assist students with maintaining the proper rate of compressions.
“They have changed a ton,” Cordonnier said. “These give instant feedback, which is very helpful when we have big classes. They give them the whole scenario of what to do when saving a person’s life.”
Another donation came from Versailles Emergency Medical Services Chief Matt Harvey. He donates his time and expertise to the classes. Students seem to understand the importance of the training, such as Zach Schlater.
“We need to know what to do if someone goes down,” Schlater said. “It could happen to anyone.”
“I appreciate how our school nurse and health/physical education teacher work together to provide the emergency skills to our students,” VEVS Superintendent Moran said. “Mrs. Cordonnier’s work to include community resources is also commended.”
For more information on the law visit https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/download?key=5597&format=pdf.