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City and county workers learn CPR

In a span of four classes from Feb. 9 to Feb. 20, 47 Selma City and Dallas County employees attended CPR certification classes hosted by Glenda Shaw, director of A Plus Health and Safety.

Of the participants, 18 Meadowview Elementary employees attended. Principal Jeanne Brust made the classes at no cost to employees by using funds from the school. Employees from the cafeteria, the school secretary, nurse, teacher’s aides, teachers and custodians signed up for the class.

Certification and training is valid for two years.

“We had a good representation of our entire staff,” Brust said. With more than 20 CPR-certified workers now, more than half of the staff at the school is trained, including Brust. “It’s hard to ask your staff to do something if you’re not willing to go,” Brust said. “This was important to us, as a school, because it saves lives.”

Kathy Nichols, community educator for the local Red Cross, has certified members of the community for 25 years. Although she has not used CPR to a life, she believes being prepared is the most important reason for certification, as well as calming the fear of an emergency situation occurring, Nichols said. “I hope I never have to use it, but I know what to do when it happens,” Nichols said.

Administering CPR quickly is the key to helping save a life. “Everything has to be done as soon as possible,” Nichols said. Within the first four to six minutes, brain damage is possible, in six to 10 minutes brain damage is likely, and in more than 10 minutes irreversible brain damage is certain,” Nichols said.

Nichols said in order to best save a person’s life the cardiac chain of survival are: call 911 as soon as possible, administer early CPR, early use of a defibrillator or A.E.D. and then allow a trained personnel to go beyond the abilities of citizens.

“We need to do something because by the time the ambulance gets there it could be too late,” Nichols said.

The one procedure most people do use is a back blow, which is used in conjunction with abdominal thrusts.

“It’s a smack with the heel of your hand to the back of delivered between the shoulder blade,” Nichols said. She recommends that people attend proper training before administering back blows or abdominal thrusts.

Selma City Schools are working to further prepare for emergency situations. Selma High School is the only school in the Selma City Schools with an on-campus A.E.D. Due to funding cuts from proration and the recent economic recession, the system cannot afford to purchase A.E.D. machines for all the schools. The next to receive the machine will be C.H.A.T. Academy.

Marchina Toodle, heath services coordinator for the Selma City Schools, will coordinate first aid teams at all the Selma City Schools. She is working with principals for approval of members for each team.

Until this program begins next year, Toodle and the school system encourage staff to continue education academically and through classes such as C.P.R. certification.

“We certainly want to encourage them because it will make a safer school ground,” Toodle said. “Any teacher that receives certification is, of course, a plus for anyone.”