In early May, middle schools students from Edward Town Middle School, located near Niagara Falls, NY, had the opportunity to learn valuable life saving techniques. This was included in a program by Firefighters from the Niagara Falls Airbase designed to teach basic CPR compressions to the more than 300 6th grade students at the school.
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, uses a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions to assist a person who is not breathing. According to Heart.org, “Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.” With such a high impact rate, it makes sense to introduce students to CPR at an early age. Fire Chief, Joe Foucha, explained, “If they can push down and do the compression - they are just as capable as I am.” This same sentiment is true of teachers.
Currently, CPR training for teachers is only mandatory in the states of Indiana, Oregon, and Virginia. Just because it isn’t a statutory requirement of the job, doesn’t mean you should neglect to become certified in CPR. Not only will this make you a more desirable substitute teacher, but your knowledge about what to do in an emergency could save a student - or a loved one's - life. Depending on school policies, being CPR certified may also allow you to work in other roles such as physical education teacher, school lifeguard, or as a coach for a school sanctioned sports team.
As a substitute teacher, you make it your job to help students. Often, this is in an academic context. If you ever find yourself facing a medical emergency, however, you want to be prepared.