Skills that save lives: Hallmark Health visits MHS to train students in CPR and choke-saving techniques

“We are pleasantly surprised with how well it went and the response from the students,” said Danielle Patturelli, Hallmark Health community outreach coordinator and R.N. with the Cardiac and Endovascular Center. “The school was so cooperative. It was really a nice time.”

Over the course of the two days, volunteers from Hallmark Health, Cataldo Ambulance and Armstrong Ambulance presented the training to roughly 400 students.

Each student was given a “Friends/Family CPR Anytime Kit” from the American Heart Association, which included an instructional DVD and a practice mannequin. Over the course of the two-hour training, the students watched the DVD, then were able to practice on their mannequin with the assistance of the volunteers.

Patturelli said Hallmark Health chose to give the students the kits with the hope that they will take them home and teach their families and friends.

“We gave (each student) pledge forms that they need to return to their house principal,” she said, adding that the “pledge” is to teach CPR to three people.

If the students return the signed pledge, their name will go into a raffle to win an iPod, said Patturelli, adding that the message they gave students this week was that they weren’t just teaching the students, but by taking it home and spreading it to others, it will “make our community safer.”

This is the first year Hallmark Health has put on these CPR trainings in the communities it covers, and the junior class of Malden High School were the first to take part in the workshop. Patturelli said their next stop is Melrose. Next year, the plan is to do them in Medford, Stoneham and Wakefield.

“We hope to be doing this pretty routinely,” she said, adding that returning to MHS in the future is very likely.

The Stride for Health event is now in its third year, and the 2010 walk will be held on Sunday, June 6, 5 p.m., at Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. Last year, the walk raised $90,000 for Hallmark Health to give back to the community with these types of programs.

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