An automated external defibrillator ( AED ) has been credited with saving the life of Nick Wick, a student in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Nick’s coach was trained in both CPR and in the use of the automated external defibrillator device. This incident, along with others like it, has incurred school districts to incorporate CPR and AED training into the ongoing training that school officials and staff receive.
Mark Meile, a Sioux Falls school district official, commended Nick’s seventh grade coach for providing Nick with lifesaving assistance. According to Meile, it is reassuring to see staff be able to respond to an emergency situation immediately, provide top-notch care, and save a student’s life.
In the Sioux Falls school district, physical education teachers are required to receive training in CPR and in the use of an automated external defibrillator. Refresher courses are mandatory every two years. These courses are provided by the Sioux Falls Fire Department.
Meile stated that he felt the fact that the seventh grade coach was able to provide a life-saving procedure to their students underscores the fact that what they are doing is a good thing, but he discouraged the district from seeing this success case as an excuse for sitting on their laurels. When it comes to the training that the physical education teachers receive, Meile said, “There is always room for reevaluating it.”
The case of Nick Wick shows just how serious unexpected situation can become. One of the things that the district is reevaluating is whether they should extend the AED/CPR certification requirement to all teachers and not just physical education teachers.
In the Sioux Falls school district, automated external defibrillator machines are in every single school building, and are also taken along for sporting events, marching band, and at school sponsored field trips.