BUTTE — In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, freshmen here at Butte High are also learning how to save a life.
“This part of your hand you have to put in the center of their chest and the other one you grab and you got to push down at a repeating pace over and over again and it’s good to have someone there because you’ll get tired,” said Butte High freshman Sitota Graff.
Sitota and her freshman classmates learned CPR and how to use automated external defibrillators and AED machines to help keep a person under cardiac arrest alive until help arrives.
“I think it’s super important the younger they learn this and the more they use it and know if they see somebody go down, that they know the skills to do,” said St. James Cardiac Nurse Deanna Montoya.
St. James Healthcare partnered with the school to bring in first responders to demonstrate hands-only CPR because quick action is important when someone is undergoing heart failure.
“If it takes them 10 minutes for someone to get here and no one’s doing anything, no one’s circulating that blood throughout their body, there’s a greater chance of not surviving,” said Montoya.
Millions saw the importance of CPR during an NFL game when Damar Hamlin’s heart stopped on the field.
“He’s alive because people started CPR right away and they also used an AED to shock his heart into a normal rhythm,” Montoya said.
Butte High has four AED devices around the school.
Just this little bit of effort is enough to save a person’s life until the professionals can come. But it can quickly wear you out.
“It was hard, after a certain while your arms start to give out, your shoulders and biceps start to cramp up,” said Butte High freshman Gabe Lochrie. “You just have to keep going to save a life.”