Red Cross and Rhode Island Department of Education partner

to get life-saving training into schools




(Providence/Narragansett, RI – July 13, 2006)  The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has partnered up with the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter to get life-saving training into Rhode Island schools, and Monday, July 17 marks the next phase of implementation of this partnership through training for Narragansett school personnel.   The training will be held from 8:30 – 3:00 on July 17 & 18 for at least half a dozen school personnel (location pending).


Under Chapter 16-22-15 and 16 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, the state requires schools to have at least one person certified in Cardio Pulmonary Recusitation (CPR), First Aid, and Automated External Defibulator (AED) in each school at all times, and the RIDE has renewed its commitment to Red Cross health and safety training by awarding a 5-year grant aimed at fulfilling this state mandate.  The grant is set for September 2005 through June 2010, and the program will train up to 200 school personnel to become Red Cross certified CPR, First Aid, and AED instructors.  In previous years, RIDE has funded a 3-year grant toward a similar program. 


The program also provides instructors the ability to teach and certify students and staff as well as members of the school committee. It serves as an effective way to prepare school personnel to respond to emergencies on the school property during school hours.  The program also enhances health education curricula in schools. “Many of the schools are incorporating the training into their curricula,” American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter Health and Safety Services Director George Neubauer said.  “Some high schools are even requiring CPR/FA/AED certification for graduation, so there are more people to save lives.”


During the recent program year, 36 school personnel from eight different school districts -  Coventry, Cranston, East Providence, Narragansett, Warwick and West Warwick as well as parochial and private schools -  successfully completed the training program and were certified as American Red Cross Lay Responders for First Aid and CPR/AED instructors.  Warwick Public Schools trained 23 of the 36 school personnel certified across the state as Red Cross instructors in the 2006 fiscal year, which ended on June 30.   “Warwick Public Schools are instituting an AED program in all their schools and they wanted to train all the students at all the high schools,” George said referring to why there are more certified instructors in Warwick than in other school districts.  In addition, 68 existing school-personnel instructors updated to the new guidelines for FA/CPR/AED and received a set of instructor materials.


The training program, offered on a monthly basis, consists of five instructor-training courses that are currently scheduled at the Red Cross offices in Providence and Middletown or the Warwick Public Schools in Warwick.  In order to have an instructor to teach the course at a participating school system, there has to be a minimum of 6 individuals interested in taking certification course.


For any instructor who chooses to become re-certified in CPR/FA/AED, the individual has a choice to either take a review class or a challenge, which involves passing a written test and having the knowledge of presenting their skills in order to be re-certified.


Any school systems or personnel wishing additional information on the program or schedule a time to train individual teachers and additional instructors can contact George Neubauer at the Red Cross Providence office at 401-831-7700, Ext. 121.


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