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Grant program awards CMCSS 23 new AED machines

April 30, 2021

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System was recently awarded a grant by Parent Heart Watch, a national non-profit organization, to place 23 new automated external defibrillators (AED) devices inside schools across the district. This grant will save the district an estimated $40,000.

The school nurses at each of the 23 schools are implementing a brand-new lifesaving Cardiac Emergency Response Plan, which has earned them an AED as part of Parent Heart Watch’s “Get Charged Up!” program.

The Cardiac Emergency Response Plan developed at each school orients the campus community to starting hands-only CPR and using the onsite AED, given the chances of survival for a sudden cardiac arrest victim are tripled when a bystander starts hands-only CPR, and increase to 90% when a bystander uses the onsite AED ahead of EMS arrival. Similar to the fire drills and using a fire extinguisher, each school will implement a cardiac emergency response drill to maximize preparedness. The drills are similar to a fire drill using a fire extinguisher. The plan was created by 12 national health and safety organizations, including Parent Heart Watch, led by the American Heart Association.

The remaining 18 schools within the district are still in possession of a working AED device and not due for an upgrade at the time of the grant program.

“We are so proud of our school nurses for the time and effort they have given to this project. They have remained committed to the health and safety of our students and staff throughout the school year, and continue to look for future opportunities to keep our schools safe,” said Danielle Kriminger, CMCSS nursing supervisor.

Nationally, there are between 7,000 to 23,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in youth each year. It is the number one killer of student-athletes and the leading cause of death on school campuses. Survival decreases by ten percent each minute without emergency intervention. In the time it takes for emergency medical services to respond, the actions taken by bystanders during the first few minutes of a cardiac emergency are critical.

June 1 – 7 is National CPR/AED Awareness Week and CMCSS will have links available on the district website to resources and information that can prepare families in case of an emergency at home, at work, in the community, or on the field. Learn more about the five steps to the Cardiac Chain of Survival at cmcss.net/cprweek.

About Parent Heart Watch

Parent Heart Watch is the only national voice solely dedicated to protecting youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and preventable Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). They work with local community leaders and school districts to educate and advocate for SCA/SCD prevention. Learn more about warning signs and risk factors of SCA and find free prevention resources at parentheartwatch.org.