VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s just like any other weekday in the halls of this Virginia Beach City Public School, but the class in session is a bit different than usual.
As the singing and humming of BeeGee’s “Staying Alive” come from a classroom, a peak inside shows several educators hovering over chopped pool noodles practicing CPR. At the front of the class was Red Cross spokeswoman Katie Niehoff.
“We are here today to work with the teachers,” explains Niehoff. “We’re teaching them hands-only CPR so they are ready in case there’s an emergency.”
After NFL Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s collapse on live television, a teacher from VBCPS reached out to the Red Cross hoping to get a refresher for themselves and their coworkers.
That’s where Niehoff comes in. She works with the Red Cross and its many partners across Virginia. One of those partnerships is with Virginia Beach City Public Schools – the largest school division in Hampton Roads.
With more than 80 schools at stake, having educators know the proper procedure of CPR is life-saving information.
“The first step to hands-only CPR is to call 911,” Niehoff said. “Not only does that get emergency workers on the way, but they can also walk you through what you need to be doing.”
For this particular teacher training session, Niehoff got creative with the learning process.
“We have our noodles which are going to act as our chest,” she explained. “You’re going to put your hands’ heel on the center of what would be that person’s chest.”
“We’re going to interlace our fingers and push down, with your weight, down two inches up two inches until they (EMS) arrive, or until you get too tired.”
Teaching educators one on one gives the Red Cross the opportunity to even specialize some of their instructions – like using the “Baby Shark” song for the rhythm of CPR.
This type of training helps educators like Jennifer Goodwin. She tells 10 On Your Side that the refresher is always needed.
“I have been CPR certified twice, but it always surprised me… you have to give the compressions deeper and longer than you think,” she explained.
If a problem does arise in or out of a classroom – teachers are prepared to save the day as usual. And it’s all possible through the partnership and hard work provided by the Red Cross.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.