1,250 Trained at Alvirne High School Paid It Forward

April 29, 2016


by Len Lathrop

Thursday, April 21, all day the Steckevicz Gymnasium had a sea of ever changing students, teachers and staff as different grade levels divided by last names alphabetically, were exposed to three very important life saving concepts; CPR, proper AED usage, and where AEDs are located in the school. CPR will maintain status of the victim, while AED or Automatic External Defibrillators will correct the problem.

First, Principal Steve Beals enforced with the students as to why this was important. He spoke about Ashley Dumais, a senior at Alvirne, as a member of the Bronco Swim Team, was at a meet at UNH when both CPR and an AED were used to resuscitate her when she had a cardiac event.

When a Pay It Forward event is a complete success, the results may never be known. A quote from Hudson Fire Captain Steve Gannon might bring it home; “Statistics show that in the next two years, someone here will use what they were shown here to save a life,” and that is for people trained in a normal course of events. With over 1,250 students, teachers, staff and many from the outside the school, it may be put to use more times than that.

Picture 150 people all doing hand-only CPR on training mannequins on the gym floor, elbows straight and 120 pumps per minute. Everybody had a chance to try their skill under the watchful eyes of certified instructors. Instructors, all volunteers, came from different walks of life. Over 20 professionals came from the Hudson Fire and Police Departments. The school nurses from the Hudson schools were there. Senior Health Science students showed their fellow students these important techniques.

After everyone had done some CPR, Beals showed a short tape presentation about what an AED is meant to accomplish. Then everyone got to see the AED pads and how and where they are applied and attached to the AED unit. Beals reinforced several times with each group where the AED units were located in the school.

One of the most enthusiastic trainers was Ashley Dumais herself, who is certified and worked with her friends and fellow students to show them proper technique. Under her direction and stopwatch timing of Officer Dan Dolan of the HPD, the students were shown how much energy was needed to do 120 compressions per minute.

After the event Jessica Baker, a senior and a Health Science student, when asked had the following comment; “The Senior Health Science students that participated in teaching hands-only CPR and AED training found it was a tremendous success. All of the students that were taught, seemed to be very involved and said that they gained something from the experience. We believe that we truly made a difference in our community with the help of the fire and police departments.

Ashley’s parents, Randy and Bonnie, who worked with Beals and the school to make this happen, sent congratulations to those involved; “To Mr. Beals, School Nurses, Health Occupations Staff/Students, Alvirne Staff, student volunteers, Hudson Fire/EMS, Hudson Police, and community volunteers involved in the execution of the school wide CPR/AED training that was held on April 21 at Alvirne High School. The students were engaged in the training making the entire experience positive. Learning this critical skill may enable one to save a life. Let’s hope that by raising awareness about the importance of CPR, that this event is adopted by other school districts throughout the state.”

When enough is said the story is done, but the lasting effects of this tremendous event, may never be known, but if one life is saved, some time or place, the event will be more of a success than any can measure.