MySafe:LA, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Fire Department Operations Valley Bureau, has successfully completed a Hands Only CPR training pilot program in high schools in LA’s San Fernando Valley.
The program is in response to Assembly Bill 1719, which mandates Hands Only CPR training as a graduation requirement, if a California high school offers a health class as part of the curriculum. The bill’s requirements take effect with the 2018-19 school year, so MySafe:LA’s pilot program has been an effort to determine how such Hands Only CPR training will be delivered in high schools.
Using a multi-media presentation, MySafe:LA instructors engage the students with both information and hands-on practice on real CPR dummies. Additionally, the program includes training on the use of an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, on adults, children, and infants. And students are taught how to work as a team during a sudden cardiac arrest incident to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
“Our members take pride in working with high school students,” said MySafe:LA Executive Officer David Barrett. “Knowing there might be someone around to help keep your blood circulating until professional help arrives is something that could affect every one of us.”
After a recent training for 200 students at L.A.’s Kennedy High School, Health Class instructor Doctor Nancy Hanover could hardly believe how engrossed her students were.
“The kids were excited and loved the experience,” she said. “A couple of times the bell to end class rang, but the students never moved! On any other day, if the bell had rung, they would have raced to the door. On this day, they were so focused, the bell was largely ignored.”
And, Lisa Ryder, an Administrator at Taft Charter High School was impressed with what she called the “punctual and professional” MySafe:LA team that did the day-long Hands Only CPR training at her school.
“The presenters were well spoken and maintained control of the presentation the entire time,” she said. “(They) did an excellent job engaging my students and relating the material to them. Personally, I enjoyed the hands on practice to the different music. I also really liked the mannequins that lit up to provide the students with instant feedback.”
During the pilot period this school year, MySafe:LA trained nearly 2500 students at eleven different Los Angeles area high schools. Most importantly, MySafe:LA gathered demographic and feedback data from students via a post-training questionnaire, which garnered a nearly 73% response rate.
92% of respondents said that after completing the MySafe:LA training, they feel prepared to perform Hands Only CPR, while 93% said they will share the information with friends and family.
First responders say this bodes well for the future.
“The more citizens we have out there who know this life saving skill, the better outcomes we’ll have relative to cardiac arrest incidents,” said Assistant Chief John Drake of the LAFD’s Operations Valley Bureau, where MySafe:LA is conducting the Hands Only CPR Pilot Program. “MySafe:LA is an outstanding partner in delivering this critical training in our high schools.”