Who Here Is Certified in CPR or Basic First Aid??

Last updated on August 30th, 2015 at 05:47 pm

It’s a simple question really. How many people at your child’s school are certified in life saving CPR and basic first aid? The answer may surprise you. I am often on the other side of this question training the administrators and teachers in cpr and first aid, and praising them for spending the time and money to go beyond the bare minimum and make sure their entire staff is trained and the children are safe, but putting my oldest child in school for the first time this year made me curious to know the answer to this question.

As a concerned parent I placed a call to Miami Dade public schools and was alarmed to find out that at a public school here in Dade county only two people are required to be certified in CPR and basic first aid. This is a dangerously low number considering that some of the schools here in Dade County have over 5000 students. Not to mention what would happen if one or both of these people calls in sick or goes on vacation? Then you run into the possible situation of having nobody on campus that day required to be trained. Not good. With the normal everyday injuries at schools, the knowledge of basic first aid is a must and add to that the growing number of sudden cardiac events in schools around the country and you will see that having a basic knowledge of first aid and cpr together is also a must and therefore the bare minimum of safety by some schools just will not do.

What would cause a school to keep only the bare minimum of people trained in something so important? Is it that the administrators and staff don’t care about the children’s safety and only do the bare minimum because they have to? Of course not. The answer as usual is money. Now obviously what needs to happen is the schools need to increase the number of people trained in cpr and basic first aid, but like anything else training costs money and with school budgets shrinking by the day and teachers coming out of their own pockets more than ever to make up for the lack of funds, asking a school to budget in training for an entire staff just does not seem possible. So what can you as a concerned parent do? Well if you are certified to train the staff in cpr and first aid then you can do as I have done and donate the training to the school and staff for free, or you can do as some parents here in Dade county have done and that is to raise the funds for the training themselves by having a bake sale or a car wash or some other fundraising event and hire a company to come out to the school and train the entire staff. I cannot think of a better use for that money than the safety of our children.

The bottom line is no matter where you live the people looking after your children, whether it is a school, a daycare or even grandparents need to be trained and know how to react when your child needs help. So go ahead and do as I did and ask the question as to who is certified here and what can I do to help? And if you are in the south Florida area, shoot me an email, I’d be glad to help.

Be Safe.

About the Author

Greg Atwood is a Firefighter /Paramedic in Coral Gables Florida and works for the Coral Gables Fire Rescue. He is an American Heart Association certified instructor in BLS ( Basic Life Support ), ACLS ( Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support ), and PALS ( Pediatric Advanced Life Support ). Greg currently lives in Miami Florida with his beautiful wife Alexa and their 2 sons, Connor and Jake. Greg is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team

Comments

5 Responses to “Who Here Is Certified in CPR or Basic First Aid??”

  1. Wow! I’ve never ever thought to ask! My big man is in the first grade and I’m there twice a week. I’ll be sure to ask next time I pop in!

  2. first aid certification says:

    The knowledge learned in the training courses are important in providing assistance to the victim just before medical experts reach the scene that is why I am pursuing this training to be a great help.

  3. Shea says:

    Greg,
    Great post. I was thinking about doing a community first aid and CPR training for my child’s schools. Do you have any advice on a budget for this kind of project. What kinds of cost do you incur? Fixed, variable, controlled, unrecovered, etc.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Greg Atwood says:

      Hello Shea.

      Thank you for reading the article and for the nice comment. I am very happy to hear that you are going organize this event for your child’s school and happy to try and help.

      Budgeting for a class has a lot of factors. Some of the biggest factors are the location of the class and possibly having to pay rent, the size of the class, the materials for the class such as the certification cards, literature to be handed out, training manikins and finally having someone come out and teach the class.

      For the location of the class and since it is being held for a school, I would ask whether or not the school has a place to hold the class. just make sure the space is big enough to allow room for training manikins and people practicing compressions on them. The size of the class is important because it may affect the location and also the amount of materials needed for the class. The handouts are not a big expense but if you are going to offer certification cards after the people complete the class it might raise the budget because people usually charge to have those cards printed. Now as for someone coming out to teach the class. if you do not have someone in mind already you can go on the American Heart website at AmericanHeart.org or the Red Cross website and find certified instructors in your area. If you do have to pay for an instructor to come out they will most likely charge and the price can vary depending on the instructor or company and should include the exspenses for the training materials and certification cards if needed. You can however ask if they offer a group discount or a discout for teachers. I offer both so it is worth asking about.

      I hope I have been able to help with some of your questions and I hope you class is a huge success. It great to see people taking action for the well being of the children. If there is anything else I can help with please feel free to contact me anytime.

      Thank You

      Greg

  4. I’ll have to check with my children’s school and see how many people there are certified in basic CPR and first aid. The last thing you want is for a medical emergency to happen at school when the handful of certified people aren’t available to help. Schools should really focus on making sure that most, if not all, teachers are certified in CPR and first aid. Thanks for the article.

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