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BEA coaches learn how to save a life

By Staff | Aug 23, 2008

Sharon Hoyt, BEA school nurse, holds one of the new defibrillators she was training the coaches to use.

Blue Earth Area coaches hope they never have to use the techniques they learned in class last week.

However, if they ever do, it could mean they are saving a life.

All of the coaching staff took CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary-Resuscitation) instruction and also were trained on new AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators).

The class was taught by Sharon Hoyt, an RN and the school nurse. She has recently completed Red Cross courses to become a certified first aid, CPR and AED instructor.

“The coaches are the first to take the training, but I plan to hold more classes this year for other school staff members,” Hoyt says.

Students may also be instructed in their health classes, she adds.

The BEA School District is placing a portable defibrillator in each one of the four school buildings, including the Winnebago Elementary.

“They will be mounted on the wall, and available for anyone to use,” Hoyt explains. “A person just presses the green ‘on’ button and a voice from the unit walks you through it, step by step.”

Hoyt says many people may be hesitant to use the units, but as she was showing the coaches in the class, they are simple to use – and could save a life.

The defibrillators are new, and half the cost was paid with donations from Cargill and United Hospital District.

Hoyt says since most of the coaches also are teachers, it made sense to begin the new class with them.

“Plus they are scattered among the four schools, so there will be someone in each building who knows what to do,” she adds.

During the three-hour class, the coaches were learning several techniques for first aid.

One was ‘CCC’ which stands for Check, Call, Care. Hoyt says it means the first thing to do when finding a person who needs aid is to ‘check’ if they are injured or breathing.

The second item is to ‘call’ for help, and have someone dial 911. Only after the first two are accomplished should a person start ‘care’, and administer CPR.

Hoyt also stresses the ‘ABC’ method of CPR, which is ‘Airway, Breathing, Circulation.”

She says the methods of CPR have changed over the years, and it is important for people to be able to use the proper techniques.

Perhaps her class will result in someone’s life being saved someday.