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District Offers Free CPR Training to Lunch Monitors

In the Mount Vernon City School District’s continuing efforts to provide greater skills to its teams of educators, administrators and staff, the district provided free CPR training to its 88 lunch monitors on November 5, 2019.

All participants learned how to recognize a heart or breathing emergency and take action, as a certified instructor demonstrated each step in the CPR process highlighting special advice for helping students. A community CPR certification was awarded to every employee who completed the course.

The initiative was done in collaboration with Just Inspire. Just Inspire is helping to provide necessary training to staff, parents and the community members who care for students and their loved ones.

Students are more likely to have a choking or breathing issue, than a heart emergency. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported last year that “choking on food causes the death of approximately 1 child every 5 days in the United States.” Some of the characteristics of the typical school cafeteria eating experience were identified in the report as enhancing the risk of choking, including high activity levels while eating, such as walking or running, talking, laughing and eating quickly. Behavioral factors may also affect a child’s risk for choking.

“Training for lunch monitors can potentially save the lives of our students,” said Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy, Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement. “Lunchtime accidents are preventable. Trained lunch monitors will provide the necessary first response to assist the child until emergency medical services arrive.”

The training was performed by Tony Chavez of Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, and Susan Maher, Executive Director Just Inspire. Both are certified CPR trainers.

All participants learned how to recognize an emergency and take action, including emergency responses to choking, cardiac arrest and stroke. They learned how to perform CPR on adults and children as well as utilize AED equipment.

“This level of CPR training for our lunch monitors is important to provide because this training ultimately saves lives,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “Our lunch monitors are direct care providers of our students during the lunch periods and we want to keep our students as safe as possible, which is the top priority of our school district.”