By Coastal Breeze News Staff
Marco Island Fire Rescue Department’s Division Chief Don Jones continues community education outreach teaching CPR and First Aid to this group of 7th and 8th graders at Marco Island Charter Middle School. Cheryl Toth, Physical Education teacher at the school and an American Heart Association (AHA) Instructor, has arranged for Don to come to the school each year for last 12 years. The goal is to certify the younger students in CPR and first aid and to re-certify the older students. “This is the 12th year in a row the Fire Department has worked with the school. Cheryl makes it a point to fit these courses in their busy schedule. She feels it is important to prepare the students to effectively respond in an emergency situation with life-saving techniques. Techniques change and are updated regularly so keeping current is important. She does a great job teaching the course to these kids, I help with the practical testing,” said Don.
Cheryl shows a group of students how to stand behind someone and perform the Heimlich maneuver while taking a supportive stance in case the person begins to fall back. When asked what inspired her to bring it to her classroom Cheryl said, “We are surrounded by water and these are basic life saving skills. Imagine all of these kids out there with this capability, many of them with younger brothers or sisters. It is a great thing knowing they’re prepared in case an emergency occurs.”
Don added, “Besides thanking Cheryl for maintaining the program at the school, we have to thank Physicians Regional Healthcare for their support. Karen Miller with the AHA assists us with the certification and any supplies necessary. Karen has been wonderful to work with and they’ve made a commitment to help whenever we hold these courses.”
The course covers such Karen Miller as clearing an obstruction, the Heimlich maneuver, compression/breath ratios, infant and adult CPR and first aid. Don and Cheryl have taught the course for each of the 12 years it’s been offered at the school. CPR certification takes approximately three hours to complete. Courses are available throughout the year. Call the Fire Department at 239-389-5040 to find the next available course.