If it is in the cards that you are going to have a heart attack, GMG High School might be a pretty good place to be. All sophomore, junior and senior students, plus all staff have been trained in CPR and use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
According to Principal Mark Polich, "It is the state law that all seniors be trained in CPR before they graduate. We just felt it was important for all high school students to have the training."
The students were instructed by GMG School Nurse Chanda Bovenmyer. The students received one-on-one instruction with each person practicing on their own mannequin. It quickly became apparent the students realized it was not nearly as simple as they thought.
PHOTO BY MARGARET THOMSEN
Nurse Chanda Bovenmyer, standing to the left, observes students as they practice giving the mouth to mouth breath. Noah Has and Joshua Hass are watching in the back.
"We have 10 mannequins that we use. They were purchased jointly by BCLUW, Grundy Center and GMG," Chanda Bovenmyer said.
One young man said, "This takes a lot more energy than I expected. And it has to be fast and then get the breaths in."
Sophomore Korey Sederburg said, "I pretty much knew this, but I am glad I know how to do it in case I need to help somebody."
GMG High School in Garwin was fortunate to have a brand new AED donated to the school as an anonymous memorial gift. The old one that was at the high school was placed at the GMG Elementary in Green Mountain.
If an AED is used in the first three to five minutes of a person collapsing, survival rates increase dramatically. Once leads are attached to the victim, the AED automatically reads the persons electrical impulses and will shock the heart back into its normal pace.
The students were clearly trained in the steps to use when using an AED. Number one is to assess the safety of the scene. Second, confirm unresponsiveness. Third, call 911. Fourth, locate and retrieve AED. Fifth, begin CPR by opening the airway and checking for breathing. Sixth, turn on the AED and follow the step by step instructions. The AED gives remarkable instructions.
"I am getting older and I like to have the kids trained," Polich said.