WHITEWATER — Today marks the beginning of National CPR & AED Awareness Week and the CPR in Schools program celebrated more than 250 Wisconsin schools trained to teach hands-only CPR.

CPR in Schools is a program that trains teachers and equips Wisconsin schools with materials to train middle and high school students in hands-only CPR, which can save the lives of cardiac arrest victims.

CPR in Schools began in 2016 to ensure Wisconsin schools offer ongoing, high-quality CPR training for its students, according to an American Heart Association news release. When a cardiac arrest victim collapses, his or her chance of survival diminishes 10 percent with each minute until CPR starts. However, if a bystander begins CPR before first responders arrive, a victim’s chance of survival can double or even triple.

“Cardiac arrests often happen at home, and CPR in Schools is creating a new generation of students who can save the life of their relatives and community members,” said Dr. E. Brooke Lerner of the Medical College of Wisconsin, in the release. “We are proud to lead this training program, which empowers students and teachers to be lifesavers in their communities.”

CPR in Schools is supported by a grant from Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Among other partners, this program is also led by Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) #7, which organizes school training sessions, and the Wisconsin EMS Association, which teaches these trainings throughout Wisconsin.

“Educating teachers so they can bring this life-saving skill back to their students is incredibly rewarding,” said Jeff Dickert, CESA #7 Administrator. “We also connect schools with local community health partners, like fire departments and EMS providers, so they can continue to build strong CPR training programs together for years to come.”

CPR in Schools extended training through the end of 2018. Schools that would like to be trained should email cprinwischools@gmail.com. For more information on this program, visit here.