- North Branch Area Public Schools
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March 1 - Anyone can save a life
Have you ever been in an emergency situation where someone’s life was in peril? This is one of the things that has kept me awake at night in the past. Emergency planning is critical to our operations as a school district. We can save lives when quick action is needed before emergency responders arrive, including responding to sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death among adults and student athletes nationwide. I have experienced a life being saved in an emergency situation, and it brings me great pride to share how NBAPS continues to prioritize emergency preparedness.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) , according to the Red Cross, “...is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It's a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart's rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.”
NBAPS has 12 AEDs, at least one is accessible in each building. Many are located near or in gymnasiums. These devices are readily available and extremely easy to use as you only have to follow the prompts the device gives once it is turned on. As an additional precaution, the athletic trainer also has a dedicated AED.
The school district’s licensed school nurses check the AEDs for functionality at least twice a year and order new supplies as necessary. Our licensed school nurses and health office staff are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with AED use.
We have used one of our AEDs to address a medical situation and it made a difference! The presence of AEDs in all of our buildings provides peace of mind that should a cardiac event occur with a student, staff member, or a guest at our many activities or events, we have the capacity to provide assistance even before first responders arrive. The Minnesota State High School League has an ongoing awareness program to highlight the importance of having AEDs accessible and we are positioned well to provide a quality emergency response.
The Activities Department has Emergency Action Plans in place, which includes AEDs and efficient 911 and medical responses. Recently our Licensed School Nurses were awarded a grant to purchase mannequins and supplies to teach a CPR course to staff and students here at NBAPS, meaning more and more people in our buildings will have the capacity to provide assistance in case of an emergency.
The safety of everyone that utilizes our buildings is paramount to NBAPS; we continue to prepare our school community to provide an immediate, coordinated response. The presence of AEDs across the district and ongoing training opportunities is critical to making a difference and potentially saving a life!