If it is in the cards that you are going to have a heart attack, GMG High School might be a pretty good place to be. You see, all sophomore, junior and senior students, plus all staff have been trained in CPR and use of the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
According to Principal Mark Polich, "It is the state law that all seniors be trained in CPR before they graduate. We just felt it was important for all high school students to have the training."
The students were instructed by GMG School Nurse Chanda Bovenmyer. The students received one on instruction with each person practicing on their own mannequin. As this reporter sat in on a class it became quickly apparent the students realized it was not nearly as simple as they figured.
GMG students are shown as they practice on mannequins. Pictured in front are Dakota Warnell, Korey Sederburg and Blake Hafner. Behind are Jacob Burt, Austin Rico and Braxton Wendt. Kneeling in back are Josh Gruen, Kyle Borota and Blayne Koster. Standing in back are Noah Hass and Joshua Hass.
Chanda Bovenmyer said, "We have ten mannequins that we use. They were purchased jointly by BCLUW, Grundy Center and GMG."
One young man commented, "This takes a lot more energy than I expected. And it has to be fast and then get the breaths in." Sophomore Korey Sederburg added, "I pretty much knew this, but I am glad I know how to do it in case I need to help somebody."
GMG High School in Garwin was fortunate to have a brand new AED donated to the school as an anonymous memorial gift. The old one that was at the high school was placed at the GMG Elementary in Green Mountain.
If an AED is used in the first three to five minutes of a person collapsing, survival rates increase dramatically. Once leads are attached to the victim, the AED automatically reads the persons electrical impulses and will shock the heart back into its normal pace.
The students were clearly trained in the steps to use when using an AED. Number one is to assess the safety of the scene. Secondly confirm unresponsiveness. Third - call 911. Fourth - locate and retrieve AED. Fifth - begin CPR by opening the airway and checking for breathing. Sixth - turn on the AED and follow the step by step instructions. The AED gives remarkable instructions.
It was amazing to watch the students listen and learn. They took the class seriously. And as Mr. Polich added, "I am getting older and I like to have the kids trained."