Act of Excellence CPR High School Training

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A Douglas County emergency medical technician (EMT) who set a goal to train every high-school student in her county in hands-only CPR was the driving force behind a new law that requires every school in South Dakota to offer the training. Nicole Neugebauer of Armour, the state’s 2015 EMT of the Year, said her goal was simply to improve the health of South Dakotans. One way to do that is to train young people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. She has trained as many as 200 Douglas County students over the past three years. Becoming involved in the drive for statewide student training was a natural extension of that effort. “The more people who know this technique, the better it is for everyone,’’ Neugebauer said. “If we can do it in my county, we can do it across the state of South Dakota.’’ She traveled to Pierre during the 2017 Legislature to testify in favor of Senate Bill 140, which makes instruction in hands-only CPR a graduation requirement for South Dakota schools. The bill passed the Senate 33-0 and the House 65-3 before Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed it into law. South Dakota becomes the 36th state to require high-school students to be taught CPR based on American Heart Association guidelines. The law takes effect with the 2017-2018 school year, and it is estimated that it will result in more than 8,000 additional South Dakotans being trained in CPR each year. Neugebauer’s selfless act of excellence makes her an inspiration to her community and to her fellow EMTs, says Megan Myers, South Dakota Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate. “Her work to train both students and teachers in Douglas County is a perfect example of what the American Heart Association and others are doing right across South Dakota to ensure bystanders are confident in their ability to step in and potentially save a life through CPR if they’re ever in an emergency situation,’’ Myers said. “Her efforts were instrumental to the passage of the CPR in Schools legislation in the 2017 legislative session that will ensure all South Dakota students will now learn hands-only CPR as part of required school curriculum – meaning we will all now benefit from thousands of young people as newly trained lifesavers in our communities each year.”

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