Area school districts ahead of state required CPR training

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area school district says it's already providing potentially life-saving training the state is requiring for next school year.

Under a bill signed by Governor Walker in April Wisconsin schools must offer CPR training in all health classes from 7th-12th grade for the 2017-18 school year.

School districts like Bloomer are receiving CPR kits in the hopes of beginning training next semester.

However the Chippewa Falls School District says not only are high school students already receiving training but many in younger grades are as well.

“They do get a little bit of an introduction to it in 8th grade and then we hit it a little more in depth when they're freshman,” said physical education teacher, Jared Faherty.

Students like freshman Alaina Steinmetz have already had lessons in how to save a life.

“It is very necessary to learn about it because it could happen anywhere at any time,” said Steinmetz.

The district says students can receive training beginning in 8th grade and then take a required course in high school which many students, like Jordan Mewhorter, take freshman year.

“The adrenaline and the nerves really get to you but you have to remember to stay calm and go through the steps that they taught you,” said Mewhorter.

Mewhorter said he took part of the training in 8th grade and found taking the course more than once beneficial.

He explained, “The idea that it is 30 compressions, two breaths, is pretty easy to grasp but it's also pretty easy to forget when you don't have to use it often.”

The district has around 16 American Red Cross kits each containing a mannequin and an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Faherty says the only thing that needs to be replaced each year are the gloves the students use and the lungs inside the mannequin which is figured into the school’s budget each year.

“I think that's what it comes down to it that we're trying to teach kids how to save somebody's life and it's hard to think there's anything more important than that that a kid could learn,” added Faherty.
The district has trained around 500 students a year in CPR for the past six years.

The American Heart Association says currently 26 states require CPR to graduate.

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