Sheboygan Falls School District Named Heart Safe School District by Project ADAM
Sheboygan Falls School District staff demonstrated their ability to respond to a cardiac emergency during a recent drill held in conjunction with Project ADAM staff and local first responders. The drill is the final step in the process of having the district schools certified as Heart Safe Schools by Project ADAM.
Other parts of the process included having the district create an emergency plan for use in the case of a sudden cardiac arrest in the district, forming a cardiac arrest response team comprised of at least 10% of the district staff, clearly labeling the district’s AEDs (automatic external defibrillator), sharing the emergency cardiac response plan with all district staff and training them to recognize the warning signs of a cardiac arrest.
School Nurse Lisa Hackbarth, who coordinated the drill stated, “This is incredibly important to myself as a district nurse. I work hard to keep every student, parent, staff member, and visitor safe. Doing practice drills for our cardiac emergency response is the best way to find out if our plan works, to test our communication system and our response team’s readiness. We work as a team and always strive to do better.”
Project ADAM, (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s memory) was launched by the parents of Adam Lemel, a Whitefish Bay High School student athlete who suffered cardiac arrest during a basketball game and died. Defibrillation or an AED could have saved his life. The program, which is coordinated by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, seeks to promote cardiac arrest preparedness in schools across the country by raising awareness of the issue, training staff in CPR and use of AEDs and making AEDs widely available.
School Nurse Jessica Mattia-Barry, who worked with Hackbarth to prepare the medical support team commented, “A Project Adam certification for Sheboygan Falls School district is a culmination of the work done by the district nurses, staff and the administration, in educating our school community about heart safety. We, the school nurses, depend on the staff volunteers to learn about cardiac emergencies and know how to help if there is ever a need. This goes beyond their expected duties while in school, and we are so grateful for their involvement.”