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SAISD kicks off CPR training for educators and students

SAISD starts a new initiative that could save lives

SAN ANTONIO – Principals, department managers, and superintendent cabinet members met at the Alamo Convocation Center Wednesday morning for CPR certification training.

It's the beginning of a plan to provide CPR training to nearly everyone within the district, from employees to students in grades 3rd through 12th.

Nearly 7,500 employees and almost 54,000 students will be equipped with CPR skills "This is important because if we can save one life it's worth it," said Roger Rodriguez, San Antonio Independent School District Sr. Coordinator for Health and Physical Education.

The first group to train included about 200 school leaders, who will earn CPR certification. Teachers who work in physical education and fine arts are already certified.

"As a parent, just as a father, myself it would give me that assurance that my kids are going to be in great hands when they come onto an SAISD campus," said Rick Flores, Mark Twin Middle School Principal

Rodriguez said the need for this type of initiative was amplified after a contract teacher at Bonham Academy suffered a heart attack. He was revived by physical education teachers, who were CPR certified.

"It was an eye-opener to really show the importance of what we're done for our training," said Rodriguez.

During the certification class, educators mastered how to perform CPR, using inflatable "manikins";  They also learned how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator"

"The expectation from our Superintendent Dr. Perez is to take this back and transfer this training back to our staff on campus on Jan. 7; as  part of the staff development," said Flores.

As of last year, the state requires students to receive CPR awareness training starting in the 6th grade, however, SAISD, will start with 3rd graders.

The training will be tailored for different age groups and while students won't receive actual certification, they'll be taught skills that could save lives.

"The kids have a vested interest, as well, for their parents. They can even be there to even help parents if they have a heart attack, if they're available, or even choking.

"They can help others, even in the cafeteria so it's a lifetime skill that they'll learn at an early age," said Rodriguez.