Residents living in one of Colorado’s rural communities, face their own unique healthcare challenges like insufficient access to primary care and other healthcare services, and longer response times from ambulatory services. This results in poorer health outcomes, higher costs, and higher acuity conditions at the time of treatment.
The American Heart Association is committed to addressing the unique health needs of people living in rural communities. One of the ways the Association is working on this in Colorado is through a CPR in Colorado Rural Schools initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase the rates of bystander, hands-only CPR among students and staff in all of Colorado’s rural school districts, as well as to ensure school districts are ready with Cardiac Emergency Response Plans, and are equipped to respond to a possible onsite cardiac emergency.
The Association is pleased to announce that West Grand School District recently adopted a district wide Cardiac Emergency Response Plan. This community-driven program is designed to enhance and sustain healthy neighborhoods, strengthen family’s communication on heart health, and increase the safety and cardiac response times among faculty, staff, students, and community members of Kremmling, CO.
The West Grand School District plan includes forming a community driven cardiac emergency response team, CPR and AED trainings, holding regularly scheduled practice drills, and an annual review of the plan. Another key element of the plan is communication; the plan will be posted in key areas on school grounds, shared with staff and the wider school community, given to community groups who use school buildings and/or grounds, and shared with local EMS. AEDs have been placed in the high school’s cafeteria, which is adjacent to the gymnasium, as well as the Athletic Director’s office. The elementary and middle school has an AED placed at the gym entrance, near the office and main entrance. The West Grand School District cardiac emergency response team will coordinate implementation and communication of the plan within their school grounds and with community partners.
The survival rate can double or triple the chance of survival after cardiac arrest when CPR is performed immediately.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to implement a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan in your school district, email [email protected].