Malden High School seniors Isaac Bethea and Michaela Ilebode hope they will never have to use CPR in a real-life situation, but thanks to the training they received on October 15, they both feel confident that they would know what to do in an emergency.

Isaac and Michaela were part of a group of 100 Malden High seniors who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training as part of a community outreach program at Hallmark Health. The program, funded by the annual Stridefor Healthy Communities fundraising walk, has trained 900-1,200 high school students each of the past five years. Each student is given a Family & Friends CPR Anytime training kit developed by the American Heart Association. The kit includes an inflatable learning "Manikin," bilingual instructional DVDs, reminder cards, and full instructions, and Hallmark Health nurses and athletic trainers and paramedics from Cataldo Ambulance Service provide hands-on instruction.

According to Danielle Patturelli, RN, clinical outreach and education coordinator for cardiac and endovascular services at Hallmark Health, there has been a drop-off in the number of people learning CPR. "The program was put together to reach out to young people, get them engaged, and boost the number of trained individuals in our community. We are currently working with the high schools in Malden, Medford, Melrose and Wakefield, who have incorporated this training into their health and physical education curriculum."

The training doesn't end at the end of each session, either. Each student is asked to take their kit home and use it to train three other people. Michaela will be training her parents and 15-year-old brother, while Isaac is prepared to work with his younger cousins.

Patturelli adds that when CPR is administered before arriving at a hospital, the chance of survival for the patient increases three times. She feels confident that these training sessions are giving teens the skills to jump in to help in the event of an emergency.

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