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Stayin' Alive: S.C. Students Learn CPR as Part of EMS Week

May 29--Using the rhythm of the popular Bee Gees tune, "Stayin' Alive," Aiken Middle School students learned the tools to administer CPR on Friday.

Aiken County EMS training officer Cindy Blystone pulled out her cell phone and played the 1970s hit, as she began instruction during a class on Friday morning. She told students that was the beat they would use when starting chest compressions on someone suffering from cardiac arrest.

The first step, she said, is to recognize someone is unresponsive. The next step, Blystone told them, is to alert someone and dial 9-1-1. Then, they should administer CPR. Students practiced throughout class time.

Last week marked Emergency Medical Services Week nationwide and EMS providers offered CPR education as a part of local outreach. School instructors said the lesson Friday was also a part of the students' safety portion of health class.

Aiken County EMS has already educated eighth grade girls at the school on CPR and continued education with other students on Friday, Blystone said. Aiken County EMS also hosted three provider CPR classes last week in addition to the middle school event.

Blystone said middle school is a great time to teach CPR, as the students in those age groups better absorb the information. Ten groups were instructed at the Middle School on Friday. Principal Scott Floyd also showed up to watch some of the students learn the skill.

Christina Cleveland is the county government reporter at the Aiken Standard.

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