SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) – The American Heart Association reports each year 475,000 people die from cardiac arrest.
That’s why nurses from Sullivan County Community Hospital are teaching CPR. The group teaches hundreds of students each year.
“We don't try to scare them. We try to prepare them for an emergency,” Janis Cullison told News 10.
Cullison is a registered nurse and health educator with Sullivan County Community Hospital. On Monday, Cullison, Heidi Norris and Susie Hauger, taught a group of eighth-grade students, basic CPR, how to help someone who is choking and how to use an AED.
“They’re going to learn how to make a difference between life or death. It’s one of our favorite things to teach because they’re in school but they’re learning a life skill,” Cullison said.
The program is free of charge for students. While they do not gain a CPR certification, Cullison told News 10 the skills in the 45-minute program are the same and will prepare students in the event of an emergency.
"Whether it's a loved one or a neighbor that they use these skills on, they can witness an emergency and know to call 911 and how to provide lifesaving skills," Cullison said.
Sullivan Middle School student Maggie Danko participated in the training. She said administering chest compressions isn't as easy as it looks.
"It really hurts your hands," Danko said.
This is her second time completing the training.
“I think you should go through it more than once," Danko said.
Whether you're refining your skills or just learning, program leaders said this experience will prepare you for whatever comes your way.
"I tell people it's a lot like riding a bike," Cullison said. "Once you learn it, you have that skill for the rest of your life and this is an important life skill."