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ONLY ON KOLD: Lesson for Life

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The push is on to get Southern Arizona students trained in CPR.  They are situations you hope never happen in your child's school, but if they do you hope your child or their teachers are prepared.


"There was so many things. The stars were in alignment that night for me."

The stars were in line on January 28, 2014 for Mike Chaison.  He was the referee that night for the Salpointe Catholic High School boys' soccer game.

"It happened right here?  Apparently it was the 35 yard line, it's where I went down.  I don't remember anything about it.  And then I was told all the players around me were calling for the trainer to come on," Chaison explained.

Athletic trainer Kyle Bowen described the situation once he got to Chaison on the field.  "His eyes were rolling back into his head, non-responsive.  I checked for a pulse right away and he had a very faint pulse."

Seconds later, that faint pulse was gone and Mike's heart stopped beating.

"We immediately started CPR and I yelled for an AED and called 911," Bowen told KOLD News 13.

After CPR, they hooked him up to the defibrillator and shocked him there on the field.  Immediately, his heart started pumping again.

Chaison said, "The next thing I remember I'm waking up in the UMC ER."

And it's not just Mike Chaison who's benefited from quick thinking and CPR at a local school.  A student at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy recently had an episode and her teacher had to perform CPR on her.

Salpointe Athletic Director Phil Gruensfelder told us, "It's so important with situations like this to be on top of it and give the victims a chance, a fighting chance."

A fighting chance is what the American Heart Association would like to give everyone here in Southern Arizona.  They're hoping state legislators will pass a law for all 7th graders to be CPR certified as a graduation requirement.

Casey Anderson with the American Heart Association said, "We've found that seventh graders are able to retain and understand CPR and are more likely to perform should an emergency come up."

It's an easy process.  The American Heart Association takes these CPR Anytime packs into school districts.  With the help of local fire departments and paramedics, they teach the students hands on how to perform CPR with the dummy in the pack and then send those packs home.

"We've found the students really enjoy the program," Anderson said.  "They're excited about learning it, they're excited to take home their kits and teach others about it."

Anderson said so far they've taught seventh graders in four different districts thanks to a grant.  "We have schools ready right now to learn it, to teach their kids and to send home the kits and that's why it's so important.  We need the funding so we can impact our community and really teach these seventh graders CPR."

And who knows, one of these young people could be the next hero to save someone like Mike Chaison.  Chaison told us, "You never know if your at a supermarket shopping if somebody all of a sudden goes down. If you happen to have the knowledge you can actually save a life."

Now we did the research for you and contacted every school district here in Southern Arizona and asked them who in the district is trained in CPR, what the district is doing in terms of teaching students CPR and what schools in the district are equipped with automatic external defibrillators or AED's.  Click here right now to find out what is happening in your district.

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