With the successful completion of an AED (automated external defibrillator) drill on simulating a cardiac emergency on November 22, Chatham Charter qualified to become the third school in the state to earn the designation of a Project Adam Heart Safe School. The school received an official banner the week of December 6th that now hangs in the gym.
Project Adam was created by the parents of Adam Lemel, a Wisconsin student who died at school in 1999 as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. They are strong advocates for AEDs and cardiac emergency preparedness in schools.
School Nurse Dawn Murphy led the effort over the past year to complete a comprehensive plan that is an essential part of the initiative. She conducted a special training session during a November faculty meeting. In addition, there are currently nearly 30 staff members and athletic coaches trained in CPR/first aid. The campus has six AEDs spread across its buildings and athletic facilities in an effort to be as prepared as possible in the event of a cardiac emergency.
“This preparation is very real for our staff. We experienced an emergency of this type on our campus several years ago and, because of trained staff who responded quickly, we were able to intervene until the rescue squad arrived. Against the odds, the individual survived. Nurse Murphy and Vanessa Thompson were honored by the American Red Cross for their heroic efforts that day. The additional training measures along with the number of AEDs we have are important in our campus health and safety efforts,” said Dr. John Eldridge, Head of School.
A medical team from Duke University and Project Adam North Carolina evaluated the Chatham Charter staff’s emergency response during the November drill. Hear an audio podcast interview with team leader Dr. Salim Idriss here: