Being a heart healthy school

Kenzie Chesrown

The school is heart certified through the SADS foundation.

This means there is an assessment sent out to parents to determine student’s risk of cardiac death.  Any student who has a cardiac diagnosis has health plans by the school. Per year, the school must perform 3 medical emergency drills.

“We do four, and one is a joint drill with GMS,” School nurse Ann Varrasso said.

The school has an Emergency Response Team; an eight member team including Matt Durst and Scott Carpenter.

Varrasso’s duty on the Emergency Response Team is to “lead the team since I have a medical background,” Varrasso said.

She also gives feedback depending on how a drill goes.

“If a real event were to occur, I would be the first responder to assist the person who is need of medical attention,” Varrasso said. “Although the team does a great job when I am not here and emergencies happen,”

All members of the Emergency Response team are certified in AED/CPR training, according to health teacher Karly Whorrall.

“I feel we are extremely lucky to have access to the multiple AED’s we have in the building,” Whorrall said.

AEDs are located in the building, and can be reached in under 90 seconds from any point in the building.

“My hope is we would never have to use them, but in the event we would have a situation that involved cardiac arrest, we would be prepared,” said Whorrall.

For every 50 students, there must be one staff member certified in CPR. However, the school tries for “100% staff certification,” Varrasso said.

In health class, a mandatory course to graduate, CPR is offered to all students.

“It is really helpful to learn,” senior Annie Penland said. “It is nice to know that in an emergency you can make a difference,”

The school tries it’s best to prepare all members of the high school in case of an emergency.