Westside certified as a heart-safe school district

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 7:09 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2023 at 7:29 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Westside Consolidated School District became the first heart-safe school in Northeast Arkansas.

The school district took part in Project Adam evaluations on Monday, Oct. 16. Project Adam is a nationwide initiative that has saved the lives of more than 200 children, adolescents, and adults who went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Westside Elementary, Middle School, and High School were evaluated during their efforts to revive a CPR manikin representing a student from sudden cardiac arrest. All three campuses passed the evaluation.

Charles Wooley with Arkansas Children’s Hospital watched as several members of the elementary staff took the proper precautions.

“We want them to show up with their AED and be able to deliver a lifesaving shock within 3 minutes,” he said.

Shortly after staff members administered the AED, a Medic One ambulance arrived at the school with EMTs, mocking what would happen in a real-life situation.

Elementary School Nurse Andrea Brackin was the first person to give CPR to the dummy. Wooley said she did so in just 22 seconds after hearing there was a ‘medical emergency.’

“I feel like if this happens, we all know what to do,” Brackin said. “Everybody knew their role, and we were able to get on the scene as fast as possible.”

Wooley said they had one minute to begin CPR.

“Getting CPR started in 22 seconds, that’s really, really good,” he said.

The district’s RN Megan Brodell said she has been working on getting the school heart-safe-certified for nearly a year.

“Every teacher is trained in what to do if they witness the person going down,” Brodell said.

She said there are 10 AEDs on the entire campus, spanning the three schools and multiple sporting facilities.

Brodell says she’s confident in her team’s abilities to save a life.

“It feels amazing that now we know we can all save a life at work together,” Brodell said.

According to Wooley, Westside is the first district in Northeast Arkansas to be Project Adam heart-safe certified.