Rescue crews can't be everywhere. But the more people who know how to perform CPR, the more lives can be saved. The American Heart Association backed state legislation to provide funding for school districts to teach CPR to students before they graduate.
More than 100 students attended the American Heart Association's program on Hands-Only CPR. Each student got a CPR anytime kit with a mini-mannequin, educational DVD and pamphlet on CPR skills.
The activity began with open dance, and many students weren't interested. Then they got down to business, opening up their CPR anytime kits and going to work.
The instructor taught easily memorable lifesaving steps in case someone goes into cardiac arrest.
"By teaching two easy steps, dialing 911, push hard and fast in the center of the chest, you really can't do anything wrong. It's extremely important that everyone knows how to act," says Community CPR manager Katie Connolly. "If you learn CPR to the rate of the Bee Gees ' Staying Alive' you're more likely to remember how to push."
Students are told to push at 100 beats per minute, and many see the importance of this life skill.
"This could help you in many instances, whether you're in school or at home, or babysitting. Many career opportunities that this could help with," says senior Breeann Barman, Ray High School.
St. Alexius gave the American Heart Association 150 personal kits for students to learn on and then help teach others.
One high schooler lobbied state legislation for the $445,000 in funding for school districts to teach life saving techniques, like basic CPR, to all students before graduation.
"I just liked the idea of getting people out there and having them be something better. Having them be a life savers to someone else," says freshman Kaycee Fry, Mandan High School
The association also hosted a raffle for one school to win a CPR teacher's kit worth more than $600.
The association says by teaching more people about hands-only CPR, the percentage of cardiac arrest survivors could be increased. It currently is only 12 percent.
By TaTiana Cash