Cumberland Valley High School teaches a life-saving lesson

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Cumberland County school district is going above and beyond, teaching kids a life-saving lesson.

Seniors at Cumberland Valley High School are required to learn the Red Cross course in CPR as a requirement for graduation.

But the class takes things a step further.

Students are also learning how to use an AED, short for Automated External Defibrillator. The small device, which costs about $200, can jump start the heart.

“Statistically, for every minute you delay using the defibrillator, the person’s chances of survival decreases by 10 percent. So we decided, if we’re gonna teach them, we’re gonna teach them all,” teacher Jackie Orner said.

Since AED’s are now common at schools, malls, stores, even on the job, students are happy to learn how to use them.

“It really does walk you through everything. You don’t do much just listen to the machine,” CVHS senior Gabriella Paredes said.

With heart disease being a big killer, CVHS feels students should now know to use an AED, and the kids agree.

“If an AED machine is somewhere and you know how to use it, you can grab it and save a life with it,” senior Sean New said.

A defibrillator checks heart rhythms and can send an electric shock when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating during sudden cardiac arrest. Knowing how to use that AED can keep a heart beating and save a life.

“When someone’s life is on the line, it’s definitely important to know how to do it,” senior Stephanie Waller said.

Although students are not required to become Red Cross certified, more than half of the senior class at CVHS will pay the $27 fee to become certified. It’s something they can put on their college application or even a job application.

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