Hartford High School expanding athlete CPR training

Southwest Michigan

HARTFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan high school is expanding CPR training for student-athletes.

Hartford High School in Van Buren County is launching a new program to recertify at least two athletes on every sports team each year.

According to Principal Dave Janicki, 23 athletes are participating in the winter training session.

State law requires all high school students to learn CPR, but district leaders wanted to make sure athletes have up-to-date training.

The district thinks the benefits of the program could reach beyond school grounds.

A photo of CPR training at Hartford High School in Van Buren County. (Feb. 11, 2020)
A photo of CPR training at Hartford High School in Van Buren County. (Feb. 11, 2020)

“You never know when somebody is going to be in need, whether it’s at Christmas dinner or down in Florida or just on the farm or at the house,” Janicki said. “If something were to happen, what greater gift than saving someone’s life.”

Sophomore Jillian Kuehnle is involved with several sports and will be able to help if there is a need.

“I’m involved in volleyball, basketball and track,” Kuehnle said. “I do participate in cross-country workouts in the summer.”

Students say if an emergency occurs to a coach after school hours, the training will help them know how to respond properly.

“You could be anywhere, and somebody could go down and an adult might not be around, teachers might not be around, it might be after school and you might just have to step in to save someone’s life,” Kuehnle said.

The district says this program will expand the reach of current CPR teams.

“Over 95% of our entire staff in the entire district are CPR and AED certified,” Janicki said.

The school plans to hold training sessions for athletes three times a year. One for every high school sports season.

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