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  • Kevin Elliott

Schools receive HEARTSafe designation

All 21 schools across the Rochester Community Schools District this month were awarded the MI HEARTSafe School designation for their cardiac emergency response capabilities, the district said.

The designation is given by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Department of Education, the American Heart Association Michigan Athletic Association, and the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young.

In order for a school to receive the designation, it must perform at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year; have a written medical emergency response plan and team; have current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent staff; 100 percent of head varsity coaches, and 50 percent of physical education staff; have accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying their location; and ensure pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. The MI HEARTSafe School Designation is awarded for a period of three years.

"By earning the MIHEARTSafe School designation, RCS has taken the additional steps, above what is required, to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Debi Fragomeni. "We are so proud of our staff and administrators who have made earning this designation a priority."

State law requires all schools – kindergarten through 12th grade – to have a cardiac emergency plan in place.

"Sudden cardiac death of a young person is tragic and some of these events can be prevented with fast, appropriate medical response within three to five minutes," said Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the state's health department. "It is always wonderful to see communities come together to help prepare schools to respond to these medical emergencies."

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