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Twenty-one 8th graders at the Stony Brook Middle School in Westford accepted the challenge to certify in CPR on May 22 and 23. The idea to provide CPR training to such a young age group was sparked when science teacher Maureen Severo re-certified in CPR last September during the Medical Reserve Corps Preparedness Month. The Westford Health Department, host agent for the local unit that taught the class, had offered CPR to town residents and Severo seized the opportunity to re-certify.
Following the class, Severo collaborated with Medical Reserve Corps instructors to bring this training to Stony Brook School. This was the first time Westford Schools had offered the class to students who were not yet in high school.
CPR stands for “Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation.” Through compressions on the chest and breaths given at specific intervals, a person whose heart has stopped abruptly has a better chance of survival. Ideally, an AED or “Automated External Defibrillator” is then applied right away, to provide a shock that restores the heartbeat.
All 21 students will end the month of May with new certification cards from the American Heart Association, valid for two years in CPR/AED and choking relief, commonly referred to as the “Heimlich Maneuver.”
Nancy Burns is an employee of the Westford Health Department and a WestfordCAT board member.