Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

March 11, 2010

CPR training in middle school saves a life

By Lailani Upham

PABLO — It was 6 a.m. when Two Eagle River School ninth grader, Michael Brown heard yelling coming from the other room. He thought he was late for school.

Barely awake, he stumbled in the kitchen to find his 1-year-old niece lying limp on the counter, with his sister at wits end - crying, yelling for someone to call 911. Instinctively, Brown proceeded with the infant CPR technique, a training he took two years ago in the seventh grade.

Within minutes the baby was breathing.

Brown said, his niece was immediately brought for medical attention and is doing well now.

Students at TERS receive first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification beginning in the seventh grade. The certification is good for two years, according to TERS seventh grade teacher Al Bone. Students at TERS are certified throughout middle and high school to include after graduation.

Currently no other schools in the valley require CPR certification to middle or high school students, according to Bone.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, where a person’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. CPR involves two elements: chest compressions combined with mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing.

The class trainings are eight hours long and offered in the seventh, ninth and senior year, according to Bone.

According to TERS officials, a call came in the morning Brown saved his niece’s life. Delsa Brown, Michael’s older sister called to thank the person at TERS who taught Michael CPR, that it saved her daughter’s life.

“I never thought I’d have to do CPR,” said Brown. Brown admitted he was still half asleep but the immediate reaction was the training he had, and it all came back to him.

Surprised and thankful, Brown said he was off to school, shortly after conducting CPR.

Al Bone, who was one of the first CPR trainers in the state of Montana through the American Red Cross in 1974, says he believes everybody needs to “think safety” and take the training.

It’s far better to do something than to do nothing at all, it could save someone’s life.

Salish Kootenai College is offering two one-day training classes for the 2010 spring semester on Fridays, May 7 and 28 from 9 a.m. - 3:50 p.m. Contact the college for further information at (406) 675-4800.

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