SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) — Saranac Jr/Sr. High School has been recognized by the state as a MI HEARTSafe school four years after a student died after a cardiac emergency on the football field.

Saranac Community Schools partnered with Sparrow Ionia Hospital to promote heart health and prepare its staff and facilities for sudden heart-related medical problems. The MI HEARTSafe designation is given by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to schools that have met the following criteria:

  • A written cardiac emergency response plan, reviewed annually with staff
  • CPR certification for at least 10% of full time staff, 50% of coaches, and all head coaches and physical education staff
  • At least one cardiac emergency response drill per year
  • A cardiac emergency response team ready to respond during school hours
  • A sufficient number of automated external defibrillators that are maintained and inspected
  • Mandatory health screenings for student-athletes before participating.

In August of 2019, 13-year-old Saranac student Skylar Lasby collapsed during football practice and died from a heart condition. Since then, his family has raised money to buy the Saranac fire department a LUCAS Chest Compression System, which provides constant CPR that operates at a steady pace, and to help people ages 12 to 40 get tested for any unknown heart conditions.

Skylar’s family hopes the MI HeartSafe certification will help save the lives of other young students, according to Sparrow Health System.