Bishop Kenny Students and Faculty Learn How to Save Lives

A potential life-saving initiative, instituted at Bishop Kenny High School during the 2015-16 school year, is now fully funded, thanks to a grant awarded by a partnership between Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and the Michael Namey AED Initiative.

On the day faculty returned to work from Christmas break, we learned that the partnership had awarded the school a grant of $7,600 to be used to purchase equipment needed for the Hands-Only CPR and AED training, now integral components of our health curriculum.  In addition, the funding will allow the school to purchase two additional AED units for their expansive campus.

The partnership launched the initiative in memory of University of Central Florida freshman and Jacksonville native, Michael Namey, a graduate of the Bishop Kenny Class of 2015.  “Our organization has joined efforts with Mrs. Connie Namey and Dr. Sylkia Martinez to raise awareness for sudden cardiac arrest on school campuses by providing CPR/AED training and increasing access to AEDs; creating an educated and prepared environment among students, faculty and staff,” said a Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation spokesperson.

Bishop Kenny students gather in the gym for CPR and AED training with help from a grant through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation (Photo courtesy of Bishop Kenny High School)

Trainers begin each session with prayer and a description of Michael’s untimely death as they emphasize to students the importance of knowing how to respond to a cardiac emergency. We are in the second year of a three-year plan to certify all current students in Hands-Only CPR.  The staff at Baptist Health CPR Training Center, who initially conducted the training for students, also trained and certified faculty members to be trainers. In addition, Bishop Kenny continues to provide annual CPR training and recertification to its faculty and staff.

With a graduating class of approximately 300 students each year and 98 to100 percent attending college, school officials anticipate the community impact will be widespread. Students have taken the training very seriously and with great enthusiasm, viewing it as an extension of their commitment to community service. Check out the video students in the Multimedia Design and NJROTC programs produced, which aired to the student body last year as a public service announcement https://goo.gl/Icfnl1. In addition, the Today Show featured the school initiative on their June 6, 2016 program, the first day of National CPR and AED Awareness Week.  https://goo.gl/FZgQfO

We are ecstatic at the thought of having sufficient resources to provide and expand training options well into the future! For more information about BK’s lifesaving initiative, call Mary DeSalvo at (904) 398-7545.