Village of Germantown — The village of Germantown has taken on a resolution of its own this year to train 10 percent of the population — that's approximately 2,000 citizens — in CPR.
To kick off the new year, on Thursday, Jan. 5, 491 Germantown High School students received the training during their regularly scheduled physical education classes to fulfill requirements from a new state law that passed last year that requires all students in grades seven to 12 to have CPR training prior to graduation.
If the goal of training 10 percent of the population is met, the village will receive a "Heart Safe Designation" by the state.
Planning for the event at the the high school has been a months-long process. Germantown High School Principal Joel Farren initiated a meeting with Germantown Deputy Fire Chief John Delain and Germantown High School Department Chair of Physical Education Greg Siegert in November to discuss the goal.
According to the American Heart Association, only 3 to 5 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims make it to the hospital alive. With this in mind, Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss said the students would be trained specifically in hands-only CPR and the use of AED's.
"With this training we are putting hundreds of trained persons in the community that may assist in saving a life," Weiss wrote in a statement on the event.
The students were trained to give 100 chest compressions per minute after evaluating the situation and calling for help.
"Students did well," Farren said. "They realized that it is more physically challenging than they thought. Students took it seriously and were engaged during the training."
Farren said this training is important to empower students with life-saving skills.
"The statistics on survivability justify how important it is for aid to be given as quickly as possible," Farren said. "With 80 percent of our kids involved in co-curricular activities and even with excellent supervision by coaches and advisors, a student could be the closest to a medical emergency when seconds count. This allows them to help if absolutely necessary, whether at school, at an event or out in the community."