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NFHS Offers New “After-School” Emergency Response Training Program

29 Jul, 2015


“Anyone Can Save a Life” Teaches Teams to Respond to Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Other Major Medical Emergencies

To address a potentially dangerous gap in medical- response planning for after-school practices and events, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) announced recently at its 2015 Annual Summer Meeting in New Orleans that it is encouraging every high school in the country that does not have an existing emergency action plan in place to prepare its teams to utilize the Emergency Action Planning Program, “Anyone Can Save a Life.”

Developed in 2008 by the Minnesota State High School League and Medtronic Philanthropy, “Anyone Can Save a Life” is a first-of-its kind, emergency action planning and training program for after-school practices and events.  It is designed to provide a coordinated team response to every major medical emergency, including sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – the leading cause of death of young athletes in the United States. 

“The reality is that every day we send thousands of students out to fields and gyms for practice and events where there is a lack of systemic support for emergencies,” said Jody Redman, associate director of the Minnesota State High School league (MSHSL) and co-developer of the program.  “One coach cannot provide a coordinated response alone.  This program empowers students to be a part of the response which increases the speed and effectiveness of response until emergency services can arrive.”

Originally created to respond to cardiac arrest, this third version of “Anyone Can Save A Life” covers all medical emergencies, providing a turnkey solution for every school wishing to implement an emergency action plan for after-school practices and events. 

“If you are prepared to respond to Sudden Cardiac Arrest, a deadly condition, you are better prepared to respond to every emergency,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director.  “We are encouraging all athletic administrators, appropriate health-care professionals and coaches to take the time during their season to implement the plan.  It only takes a few minutes, and we have seen that these actions can save lives.”

After successful pilots in Minnesota, Arizona, New York and Washington, the NFHS Foundation provided funding to expand the scope of this program to distribute training guides nationally to its member state associations and their member schools.  “Anyone Can Save A Life” training materials are available at no cost at http://www.anyonecansavealife.org/

Using the program guide, coaches assign specific “emergency response” roles to students on every team at every level.  If a student suffers a serious injury, or life-threatening event, teammates immediately spring into action with the information they need to call 911,  assist with CPR and retrieve the automated external defibrillator. 

“This training will not only make our kids safer at school,” said Joan Mellor, Sr. Portfolio Lead at Medtronic Philanthropy and co-developer of the program, “it will provide them life-saving skills that will benefit the entire community.”

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS): The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

About the Minnesota State High School League: The Minnesota State High School League (www.mshsl.org) is a voluntary, nonprofit association of public and private schools with a history of service to Minnesota’s high school youth since 1916. The MSHSL provides educational opportunities for students through interscholastic athletics and fine arts programs, and provides leadership and support for member schools.

About Medtronic and Medtronic Philanthropy: Medtronic plc (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

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