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SD Department of Education Jan. 2016  

  Students learning CPR Want to teach students and colleagues to save lives? Find resources on the DOE website

The South Dakota Department of Education provides resources on its CPR Resources for Schools webpage for use in providing instruction in CPR and the use of AEDs (automated external defibrillators). Stakeholders from various state and nonprofit agencies and health/physical education teachers have compiled these resources and contacts for districts to access when implementing training.

Training can range from learning the two simple steps required for hands-only CPR to getting certified in basic life support. See below for highlights of successes from across the state and ideas for incorporating training in your classroom or school.

  • Corsica-Stickney School District
    "In South Dakota, we're blessed to have a network of paid and volunteer emergency medical service providers, and so many of those folks are willing and excited to come into schools and teach CPR basics for free to teachers and students," says Megan Myers, South Dakota's government relations director for the American Heart Association. "In Corsica, for example, Douglas County's ambulance service comes to the high school and trains students in hands-only CPR.

    "The students gain lifelong knowledge and they also get to see healthcare workers in their own communities who are willing to give their time to help their fellow neighbors. Having that exposure can even help motivate young people to consider a career in medical services and help their communities continue to grow. It's really a win-win for everyone involved."
  • Rapid City Area School District
    "This fall, medical student Michael Frost and his colleagues at the USD School of Medicine started teaching CPR for RCAS employees," says Linda Poppens Boland, health services coordinator and a school nurse for the Rapid City School District. "The medical students took on the project voluntarily and there is no cost for RCAS staff members.

    "They've taught classes at nine schools, impacting staff from a total of 11 schools. They also recertified the RCAS school nurses. As of January, 1,114 people have been trained in CPR in RCAS. During the first week of March, the medical students will do two more classes for the remaining schools and staff. Then they plan to work with the PE teachers to provide CPR training to the students of RCAS."
  • Area health education centers
    "Both the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center and the Northeast South Dakota AHEC work with school districts to provide CPR training," says Sandy Viau-Williams, executive director of the Yankton Rural AHEC. "We provide tools and resources to teachers and community health nurses to use in the classroom. We use American Heart Association materials; generally focusing on introductory level training beginning as early as 4th grade. We link students and teachers with local resources for more advanced training, which is often provided by the local hospital or ambulance service."

    Rachel Haigh-Blume is executive director of the Northeast SD AHEC: "We've done a lot of school trainings and it has been very rewarding. The NESD AHEC provides classes in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) according to American Heart Association standards so everyone receives a card. We also have completed BLS (basic life support) for those in healthcare courses so they're prepared for the healthcare arena with their card. There is a small fee charged if the school would like the students to have the CPR card, which is good for two years."

In 2014, the South Dakota Department of Education began gathering information via an annual electronic survey about which districts are implementing CPR into the school health curriculum. The most recent survey indicates that 76 public school districts (51 percent) are implementing CPR training, or planning to implement it this school year. This compares to 67 public school districts (44 percent) in the 2014-15 school year.

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