Burlington, News

Learning to save lives

Burlington High School students Murphy Diggins and Camryn Stillman work together on reviving a patient during CPR training on April 26 at Veterans Terrace (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

BHS students receive valuable training

By Jason Arndt

Nearly 50 students from Burlington High School learned how to save lives through trainings in basic life support and CPR on April 26 at Veterans Terrace.

The all-day training session came courtesy of a collaboration between Burlington High School, Veterans Terrace, Gateway Technical College and the City of Burlington Fire Department, BHS teacher Troy Everson said.

The students came from Everson’s anatomy and physiology class.

“It solidifies the end of our school year, but also marks the beginning of their healthcare careers,” Everson said. “The students that I have are the students who will be doctors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists.”

The students learned how to perform CPR on adults, infants and children, and received instruction on clearing obstructed airways.

Additionally, City of Burlington Fire Department officials also paid a visit to Veterans Terrace, sharing with students about their roles as first responders.

Eager to learn
Instructor Brian Wienke, of Gateway Technical College, has delivered trainings to students for several years.

On April 26 at Veterans Terrace, he found all students highly engaged, willing to learn, and eager to help the community

“They are definitely looking at what they can do out there if someone’s heart stops, or someone stops breathing, they are all listening well,” Wienke said. “They are definitely participating and they have a lot of energy out there.”

While students showed enthusiasm, Wienke acknowledged some people have hesitation about learning CPR.

“A lot of people say, ‘I don’t know if I can do that,’” Wienke said. “Until they learn what to do, that makes the difference.”

After the session, student Camryn Stillman said she has more confidence in helping others, especially when they need assistance the most.

“I feel pretty comfortable I would say, they do a really good job of teaching us,” she said.

Important tool
Stilllman, as well as classmate Murphy Diggins, each agreed not many people have knowledge of CPR and basic life support skills.

For Diggins, having dozens of classmates receive trainings benefits the community.

“It is a very important aspect in the community because there are not a lot of people who are CPR trained,” Diggins said. “People are going to benefit a lot from this.”

Diggins, meanwhile, said a person with CPR certification helped save his grandfather’s life, which made it more personal for him.

“Personally, this hit quite close to home for me. My grandpa had a similar situation where he was going into cardiac arrest and there was someone nearby who knew how to do CPR, so he got saved,” Diggins said.

Stillman encourages everyone, even people in the community, to learn basic life support skills because it could pay off for someone in the future.

“I think it is a good skill everybody should know because you never know when something like a cardiac incident would happen,” Stillman said.

Everson, however, has one simple hope for students who received training on April 26.

“My sincerest wish is that any of these people who are here today never, ever use what I am teaching them,” he said. “However, in the event that someone in our community, or someone in our school, or someone in our lives goes down with cardiac arrest, we will have almost 50 people who are further trained to help their communities after today.”

School officials said a total of 48 students attended the trainings.

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