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Grand Island Central School District: Students learn life-saving skills

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Sat, Feb 13th 2016 07:00 am

NY Board of Regents requires hands-only CPR training before graduation

This February, Grand Island students in grades 9 through 12 are being trained in bystander CPR and use of automated external defibrillators through the American Heart Association's Hands-Only CPR program. Since spring 2014, the Grand Island Central School District annually trains all high school students in these life-saving skills.

In October 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a measure directing the state's commissioner of education to come up with a CPR training curriculum. New York is the 26th state to pass such a law. In September 2015, the New York State Board of Regents approved a regulation requiring all students be taught hands-only CPR training before graduating from high school. This mandate was the final step in a 15-year effort by the American Heart Association to get CPR training in high schools in New York state.

The AHA was among many groups pushing to make the training mandatory, citing cases in which lives were saved by someone performing CPR.

"We were prepared," said Dr. Teresa Lawrence, superintendent of the Grand Island Central School District. "Our district implemented a hands-only CPR training course for high school students two years ago; the first classes were conducted in the spring of 2014. We continue to teach approximately 1,000 students this life-saving skill each year."

The Grand Island Fire Co., under the direction of EMS Captain Scott McCormick, was on hand to present information to the students along with the Grand Island High School physical education staff. GIHS physical education teachers have the skills and training to maintain and implement the hands-only CPR training into the curriculum year after year. Hands-only CPR can be taught in 30 minutes or less, so it easily fits into physical education class time.

"In previous years, our district experienced first-hand the life-saving benefits that knowing CPR can have," Lawrence said. "Safety continues to remain our top priority. Our district supports the opportunity to provide our students and staff these valuable skills."

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