BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y.-- As of Oct. 1, every high school graduate will be required to have rescue breathing CPR and AED training, under a new state law.
Briarcliff High School students are getting a head start on the mandate by taking hands-on training in their physical education classes.
“We tell them that hopefully they won’t ever need it, but they should be prepared for it if they do,” said A.J. Thau, the physical education coordinator for the middle and high schools.
The school collaborated with other nearby districts also looking to fulfill the state requirement to share practice CPR mannequins and training AED (automated external defibrillator) devices for the hands-on lessons.
“I think it’s really important to know in case you’re in a situation where you need to save a life,” said senior Matthew Hausman. “Just walking down the street, if you see someone down – they said 70 percent of people don’t know CPR – and I would know how to save their life.”
The students learned the steps to take before administering CPR, including calling 911 and removing the person’s shirt if necessary.
They also learned that CPR requires making 100 chest compressions per minute and that using the beat to the song Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive” is a helpful tool.
“I think the fact that we have this skill set is going to be really useful to us whether we end up using it or not,” said senior Madeline Albert.
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