M.J. Hippern teaches health at Dover High School. She was certified to teach CPR through the American Red Cross-New Hampshire Region. In turn, she teaches CPR to her students.
M.J.: I felt that teaching CPR was very important and talking to the superintendent at the time he thought it was a great idea. As I was hired we bought all the mannequins and all the materials through Red Cross so that we could teach the American Red Cross course for the whole student body. Every student is exposed to the American Red Cross course, but if they would like to be certified they do need to take an extra step and we certify about 125 students every year.
I had a boy who was a senior at the time, walked up to me and gave me a big bear hug. What had happened was is he went home after school, his mom and dad and he were barbequing and his dad had collapsed and he gave CPR to his dad. His dad didn’t make it, but he came in the next day and said at least I kept my mom calm and he wanted to thank me for teaching him. He knew what to do. He knew that 911 had to be called. He started performing CPR told his mom to make the phone call.
He felt so strongly that it was so important that the students learn the skill he went to the school board on his own the next month to say how important it was to keep it in the curriculum.Even if the kids don’t use the skill of CPR itself, part of the course is other life skills - recognizing an emergency exists, what to do if someone faints. So it’s not just CPR. It’s a lot of different skills. At least they’ll know what to do. This is something they’re going to use for life.