Kicking off the news this week is a look at a trend that is going to make every EMT and paramedic’s job a little bit easier. West Virginia is joining twenty other states that are requiring CPR education as a high school graduation requirement.

Teaching CPR in Schools is Public Health Win!

Group of Teens Take CPR ClassBeginning with the Fall of 2015, all students from sixth to twelfth grades will be required to learn how to give CPR in health class on an annual basis. According to the article over at the American Heart Association blog, this adds up to over 17,000 new CPR trained high school graduates annually in the state.

When you look at all the 21 states that now have initiatives in place to teach CPR to high school students that adds up to over one million CPR trained individuals graduating each year from their school systems. Hopefully this trend includes your state, but if it doesn’t there’s something you can do. Get out there and get the laws changed in your community or state so that students get CPR training as a matter of routine and that they are actively empowered through community outreach and re-education programs to do CPR in an emergency.

Empower Students to Actually Do CPR

One thing I hope we can do with these initiatives is to make sure that the students are learning some key things. First, that you don’t need to have a current CPR card to do compressions and save a life. Two, that they should use online tools like the American Heart Association YouTube page to keep up to date on changes in CPR protocols. And three, that they should actively encourage everyone to get trained in CPR, at least at the hands-only level!

These three things are all items that a local EMS service or fire department can have a hand in. Make sure you link to the heart association’s YouTube videos on your company website. They are educational and often humorous. Reach out with regular CPR refreshers and do hands-only CPR demonstrations in and around your community.

If you’re doing these things already, great! Make sure you send me a link and I’ll share it on my social media channels.

Follow up on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – EMS Code Sepsis Program Innovates Care and Episode 426.

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