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Students at Rosemont learn hands-only CPR

Program is offered by TVF&R and Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center


by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Seventh-grader Dylan Jahnson and TVF&R firefighter Mike Thorne practice hands-only CPR at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. Students at Rosemont Ridge Middle School moved to the sounds of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” on Oct. 16 as part of a new Middle School Healthy Hearts study.

About 85 students received hands-only CPR training with help from nurses with Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and firefighters with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. The class is part of a larger effort to educate 1,300 students in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District about heart health and the importance of CPR.

“It is wonderful for the hospital and fire department to bring this forward to the schools,” said Catherine Marioni, mother of Rosemont seventh-grader Garrett. “Learning CPR at this age helps kids become aware of the needs of others. In addition to feeling like they can control their own well-being, they can now participate in the well-being and health of others by learning this skill.”

The educational opportunity is made possible through a grant through Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and the partnership with the TVF&R. Wood Middle School in Wilsonville was the first school to participate.

About 160 students participating in the Middle School Healthy Hearts Study take part in two classes. One class focuses on preventing heart disease by educating about healthy eating and physical activity and the other class teaches the kids how and when to perform hands-only CPR.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Seventh-grader Jacob Howell (left) and seventh-grader Micah Gibson practice hands-only CPR to the sounds of the Bee Gees. According to Brian Barker, public information officer with TVF&R, the agency responds to more than 1,800 cardiac events each year. The organization developed a similar pilot program in March, but has since paired with Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center to offer training.

“Cardiac arrest is a huge killer in our service area and it’s our goal to reach as many kids as possible,” Barker said. “Independently we realized that we need to teach CPR to kids and are now working together.”

Barker added that middle school students are especially receptive to this type of training.

“This is a great age,” he said. “They are going through health classes and not shy about participating. We want every one of these kids to go home and share this information with their families.”

Legacy Health Researcher Taryn Lust agrees. Lust wrote the grants — totaling about $10,000 to help pay for test mannequins — which brought Middle School Healthy Hearts into Rosemont Ridge. Athey Creek Middle School will receive training next.

“All of the information coming out shows that cardiovascular disease risks begin in teenage years,” she said. “I thought it was good to target prevention in teenagers.”

In accordance with educational outreach from the American Heart Association, the program focuses on hands-only CPR because it is easy to learn and effective.

“Hands-only can save lives,” Lust said. “At the conclusion of this study it is gratifying to know that we will have 1,300 young community members trained to provide intervention to anyone they come in contact with in the course of their lives who is suffering a cardiac event.”




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