GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Some Grand Rapids Public Schools high school students will soon become lifesavers.
The Board of Education is expected to approve a donation of 10 Automated External Defibrillators at its meeting Monday night. 9th grade students at Ottawa Hills High School will be trained to become Students United Prepared Emergency Responders (SUPER) and will be certified in the American Heart Association's HeartSaver CPR & AED program. The program is a reflection of a wider trend going on in schools around West Michigan - a trend many school administrators say is potentially lifesaving.
“I think anytime you have an opportunity to train your staff, to train students, to raise awareness about CPR and about these lifesaving skills, we need to take advantage of it," said GRPS spokesperson John Helmholdt. "We’re just grateful that we have the opportunity to do this and hopefully it’s something that can be replicated and sustainable for a long period of time.”
Amway is providing the AEDs and sponsoring the "SUPER CPR and AED" program at Ottawa Hills.
The district says the program will also get students in contact with local paramedics, fire and police responders and school nurses which may inspire them to choose a medical-related career path.
Local paramedics, like Jeff Meyers who owns and operates Grand Rapids Healthcare Training, say the new devices and training skills are nothing short of a lifesaving addition in the school system.
“It’s a great program," said Meyers, "it’s really easy for kids to learn how to use an AED – extremely simple. CPR is going to keep the person viable for a little while longer. The AED is actually gonna be the cure.”
Meyers said that paramedics nationwide can expect around a 7% survival rate when working to resuscitate patients without the use of an AED. But with one, Meyers says, the rate increases to 50% or more.
We'll have more on this story tonight starting at 4:00pm on FOX 17 News.