Written by Linda Mittiga/Sayville Schools.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime—for saving lives—and over 270 Sayville students signed on.
The Sayville High School Physical Education staff, in cooperation with the American Heart Association, offered heart-saver CPR and AED training/certification in physical education classes to Sayville High School students who chose to participate. While the cost for the CPR and AED training and certification was $20 per student, the training was invaluable.
According to the American Heart Association, these CPR and AED learning programs “help to increase survival rates by training individuals for quick responses. Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., but when ordinary people know CPR and how to operate an AED, a victim’s survival rate can double, or even triple.” Administered properly “and immediately to sudden cardiac arrest victims, CPR/AED performance can save lives.”
During the hands-on portion of the training, students watched a training video first before they were assigned CPR manikins and AED simulator kits. Guest instructors from the Long Island Rescue Services taught the students not only to understand the automated commands but how to obey the signals so as not to cause further harm to themselves or the victims. The students, remembering the successful rescue last year with a school custodian, realized the possibility or need could arise anywhere and showed genuine concern for the training. Their training ended with demonstrations about how and when to help a choking victim.
Thanks to the initiating efforts of P.E. teacher Jennifer Wittman-Cahill, Sayville is now one of only a few school districts on Long Island to offer the training for Physical Education students. It is indeed a comfort to know that by giving our Sayville students the opportunity to be trained and certified means adding hundreds of lifesavers to our community.