District 51 takes next step toward AED installation

Aaron Howard, a math teacher at Palisade High School, practiced rescue breathing as part of CPR training Tuesday at the school.

More than 30 teachers were trained Tuesday at Palisade High School on how to use the new automated external defibrillator which will be installed in the school later this month.

The training also included a refresher course regarding the new guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the American Heart Association.

“Our entire staff will be trained on how to use the new devices at some point,” said Tim Leon, safety coordinator for School District 51.

The AED device was donated by Sue Edson, founder of ARVD Heart For Hope, a nonprofit whose goal is to purchase an AED device for every high school and middle within the Grand Valley. ARVD stands for arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. Edson started the nonprofit after her daughter was diagnosed with a heart condition.

“It’s important to have this device because this building is used by the public,” Leon said, adding the school is often visited by older members of the community and hosts numerous sporting events.

Leon said eventually he’d like to have two AED devices located within the large high school.

“This is just one more step toward that goal of getting the devices and training everyone,” said Christy McGee, communications coordinator for the district. 

After teacher training, the device will be mounted inside a glass case in the main hallway with adequate signage similar to a fire extinguisher, said McGee. Most likely, the device should be installed and ready to use by the end of the month.


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