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CPR Classes Bring Life-Saving Skills to Wahoo High School Classrooms

Steve Shannon, the Comparative Anatomy teacher at Wahoo High School, first brought up the idea of a CPR and first aid program a couple years ago.

The idea originally came about to give students a real life application for what they learn in Shannon's class.
"It sort of brings it all together," he said.

After he shared his idea with Specht, she found the grant to apply for, and last year more than 40 students went through the training.

"It takes about two weeks of class time, which is quite a bit from a curriculum standpoint," Shannon said. But he added that the subject matter is well worth the time.

Including the PE 1 class this year is a step in the right direction, according to Shannon.

"It's good for them to get it early and get a refresher in Anatomy," he said.

Randy Shada, the PE 1 teacher at Wahoo High School, was all for adding the training to his class.

"I think the program is excellent. Every adult and every student should know CPR," Shada said.

In today's unpredictable world, everyone should know how to save lives, according to Shada. He thinks students will quickly understand this.

By integrating the program into these two classes, it will reach students of a variety of ages, since Comparative Anatomy is all upper classmen and PE 1 is mostly freshmen.

According to Specht, the program involves students from all over the county, and local fire and rescue departments hope to see them volunteer in the future with skills they learned in this course. Specht was delighted to receive letters of support from the Wahoo Fire and Rescue Department.

This February, 120 students from Wahoo High School will participate in the Developing Life Saving Skills Program, which focuses on CPR and first aid.

The program will be funded by a $1300 Small Community Health Grant from the Southeast Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

Mary Specht, School Nurse for Wahoo Public Schools, helped secure the grant.

"We have formed a partnership with the Three Rivers Public Health Department," Specht said. Three Rivers will provide the instructor for the eight-session course.

According to Specht, Linda Vobril, a nurse and CPR instructor with Three Rivers, will come into the classrooms of Comparative Anatomy and PE 1 to teach the course

The training can also help students find jobs. According to Shannon, they can work at pools as lifeguards, or at healthcare centers. Shada added that some daycares require employees to be CPR certified.

Ideally, this program would continue on an annual basis. The only problem is funding, according to Specht. If the grant money is available, she would love to see the class taught yearly.

This year, the amount of grant money is roughly the same as it was last year, and they're using it to educate more than double the number of students.

"We shifted our focus to number of students instead of equipment and materials," Specht said. She explained that they still have the equipment they bought for the course last year, and that allows more students to participate.

The goal of the program is to expand the students' knowledge base about first aid and CPR, and the time spent is well worth it.

"They'll see how valuable it is to save a person's life," Shada said.

CPR Classes Bring Life-Saving Skills to Wahoo High School Classrooms

Hank Hrdlicka

Feb 07, 2008

I think that this is a Great idea and that it should become a standard for us to learn.