Oregon is one of the thirty-eight states that require students to learn CPR before high school graduation. Since SB 79 bill was passed in 2015, Salem/Keizer Public Schools needed assistance to make sure students learned CPR.
“It was a challenge to coordinate this large but very important mandate into our district,” said Salem/Keizer Public Schools Superintendent, Christy Perry.
The Salem Fire Department and the Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) stepped in to help the schools with this requirement by making CPR/AED training of eighth-graders part of their organization’s mission.
Since 2015, the nonprofit SFF raises funds to help support the cost of the training and individual CPR mannequins used by students. Over the last six years, SFF and the fire department have trained over 16,000 students.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person student training for the past two years.
With the help of Capital Community Media, SFF developed a video training and follow-up quiz that students can access on the SFF website. In the video, Salem Fire Captain Willy Giddings teaches hands-only CPR and AED use. Two Salem middle school siblings volunteered to be in the video.
“We want to make sure all students have access to this critical training. If for any reason students are not able to attend in-person, whether it be virtual learning during the worldwide pandemic, students in our online academy, students with an illness, or almost any reason someone might miss a day in school, this video will serve to make sure
our students meet the requirement,” said Superintendent Perry.
One of the Foundations’ goals is to raise up a community ready and able to assist in the case of a Sudden Cardiac Incident. Before the pandemic, firefighters taught CPR to 3,500 students each year.
“I was grateful when the Salem Fire Foundation and Salem Fire Department came to us, offering to provide in-school CPR and AED use training. We already know of multiple situations where this training has saved lives,” said Superintendent Perry.
The 18-minute video is available on the SFF website at SalemFireFoundation.org under the Programs tab.
About the Salem Fire Foundation: The Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to assisting the Salem Fire Department to achieve its core mission of saving lives through the funding of the following programs: Community Outreach and Engagement in CPR and AED Training, Employee Recognition and Development, Fire Prevention and Risk Awareness, Service Enhancements, Assistance for Injured Firefighters and their Families, and Special Projects. To learn more, visit salemfirefoundation.org or call 503-371-7457