Cedar Springs High School is one of 40 schools from the state of Michigan and one of only five in Kent County to receive the new MI HEARTSafe Schools designation, which recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.
The Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH), Education (MDE), Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) and the American Heart Association (AHA) gave out the awards for the first time late last month. Between 1999 and 2009, there were 3,134 young individuals between 1 and 39 years of age who died of sudden cardiac death in Michigan. Of those, 246 were between 5 and 19 years of age.
Governor Rick Snyder, MDCH, MDE, MAP-SCDY, AHA, and many community partners are committed to reducing the number of sudden cardiac death in our youth. The recognition of the first MI HEARTSafe Schools is another forward step in the effort to do so.
Public Act 12 of 2014 requires all schools (grades kindergarten to 12) to have a cardiac emergency response plan in place by July 1, 2014. Michigan schools that already have an existing cardiac emergency response plan and have taken additional steps to be prepared for a cardiac emergency applied for the new MI HEARTSafe Schools designation beginning in November 2013. This designation recognizes those first 40 schools that have taken steps above and beyond to prepare to respond in the event of a cardiac emergency, and is awarded for a period of three years.
In order for a school to receive a MI HEARTSafe 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 of 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.
Schools that meet all of the requirements will be able to apply for the MI HEARTSafe School designation each year.
Besides Cedar Springs, the other schools in Kent County that received the award were Innovation Central High School, Kent Career Technical Center, Kent Transition Center, and Kent Vocational Options, all in Grand Rapids.
For more information about the MI HEARTSafe Schools program, visit www.migrc.org/miheartsafe.