On Oct. 14, 2015, American Heart Association and Baptist Hospital recognized The School Board of Miami-Dade and Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo for their leadership in ensuring that 11,135 students received CPR training last school year. Miami-Dade County was the only school district to train such a large number of students using the CPR in Schools Kit within the Greater Southeast Affiliate. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth largest school district in the United States with over 345,000 students and over 40,000 employees. The school district stretches over 2,000 square miles of diverse and vibrant communities ranging from rural to urban cities and municipalities.
Being such a large and diverse school district, their personal impact within their many communities can help decrease the number of deaths related to sudden cardiac arrest each year. More than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and about 90-percent of those victims die, often because bystanders don't know how to start CPR or are afraid they'll do something wrong. Bystander CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival. Teaching CPR to students could save thousands of lives by filling our community with lifesavers - those trained to give cardiac arrest victims the immediate help they need to survive until EMT's arrive.
In Miami-Dade County, Superintendent Carvahlo has committed to ensuring that students in his schools are being equipped with the right training to help save lives. It's also the leadership and dedication of champions like Jayne Greenburg, District Director of Physical Education and Health Literacy, and Louis Lazo, Curriculum Support Specialist in Health Literacy, who ensured that all 11,135 students were trained at their local high schools for the Hands-Only CPR program last year.
The American Heart Association presented the district with a CPR in Schools Kit that can be shared amongst their high schools. One kit contains everything needed to facilitate CPR in Schools training and can train hundreds of students for years to come. Congratulations, Miami-Dade County Public Schools!