Students put their hearts into class
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
That’s what USD 428 is hoping the hands-only CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) education being taught to all Great Bend High School students will help people in cardiac arrest do. Stay alive.
Beginning this month and continuing throughout the semester, it is the mission of Ryan Zink, sports medicine teacher, to train as many students and teachers as possible to perform hands-only CPR .
“There’s a scare factor for people to do the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation part of conventional CPR,” Zink said. “Hands-only is just that, chest compressions only.”
A video helping to instruct the students uses the disco-era song “Stayin’ Alive” to drive home the message. The song has a strong, fast beat that helps students learn how fast to do the compressions. It’s actually about 100 beats per minute.
“There’s a definite benefit to hands-only CPR,” Zink said. “You can keep someone going with just chest compressions.
“You can’t really do it wrong,” he added. “Anything will help.”
Zink uses the advisory period at the high school as instruction time. Within only 30 minutes, students have the basics of helping save a life until an ambulance arrives.
He teaches the traditional method of CPR in his sports medicine classes. In the past three years, at least 200 students have been fully CPR trained.
Zink has already added another 75 hands-only trained students to the community.
“The more trained people the better,” he said. “It makes our school and community safer.”
Zink also tells students to call 911 first and talks about the use of AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators). There are two at the high school – one in the commons area and the other in the Panther Activity Center. AEDs are also in all of the other public schools.
Kim Sell from the American Heart Association and Mark Mingenback, United Way of Central Kansas board member, shared the idea with USD 428 administrators, and equipment was secured through grant funding from the United Way and Golden Belt Foundation. The two kits cost approximately $1,200.
“I’m proud of the partnership we have with local agencies,” said Khris Thexton, interim superintendent. “It helps to create a better, safer community.”
“Students are talking about it. They are excited to learn,” Zink said.