Editor’s note: Across the County, Department personnel have been teaching high school freshmen how to perform Hands Only CPR. One of the more recent training sessions occurred in Division 8.
More than 300 freshmen students at La Puente High School now know Hands Only CPR, thanks to firefighters from Division 8.
The plan to train the students was the result of a conversation last December between Division 8 Community Services Liaison Leticia Pacillas and Melissa Bravata, a counselor at the school. Bravata explained that the school was celebrating its centennial, and she was hoping to find new projects her students could participate in as part of the centennial celebration. The idea of teaching freshmen students CPR appealed to her because it would offer students a new skill and enable them to be better prepared within their community.
On March 5, the first Hands Only CPR training was conducted with 30 members of the high school’s “Link Crew”—juniors and seniors who serve as mentors to the freshman class. During the training, each Link Crew member received a kit that they could take home and use to practice so they would be ready to assist firefighters during the freshman training the next week.
On Friday, March 13, the freshmen training began! Each PE class learned the importance of Hands Only CPR, and received a CPR demonstration from their local firefighters. Each session concluded with a review, question and answer session, and students putting their skills to the test to the beat of “Staying Alive.”
Division 8 proudly acknowledges and thanks three of its newest members—Probationary Fire Fighters Christopher Zito, Alexis Kendricks and Daniel Martinez—who stepped up and enthusiastically led the freshmen throughout the day-long CPR training.
A special thank you also goes out to Battalion Chief Dave Toigo, Station 26 (Captain Richard Stillwagon, Captain Steve Cabrera and crew), Station 43 (Captain Scott Jones and crew), and Station 118 (Captain Dave Murrietta and crew) for their time and expertise in helping the students feel comfortable with learning a new skill.
After the training was complete, Bravata sent the following note:
I was feeling great after Friday! I really enjoyed it and I think a good amount of the kids took it seriously and appreciated it. Thanks again for everything you have done for our school. I have really enjoyed working with you and hope we can continue to do events together in the future.
Gallery: Students at La Puente High School learn Hands Only CPR from Division 8 firefighters. Photos courtesy Leticia Pacillas.