With a goal of increasing heart safety awareness and certifying every Berks County high school senior in CPR, officials from The Reading Hospital visited Brandywine Heights High School in Mertztown to kick off the second phase of the extremely successful HeartSAFE Berks County program.
Brandywine Heights Area School District Superintendent Martin Handler, PhD, and Michael Koslow, MD, Chief, Section of Cardiology, at The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, oversaw a morning program that certified 150 Brandywine Heights High School seniors. Dr. Koslow and Friends of Reading Hospital President Lil Murphy then presented the school with two new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and signage to increase awareness and access to the devices.
HeartSAFE Berks County, supported by The Reading Hospital Regional Heart Center in partnership with The Friends of The Reading Hospital, works to improve the survivability of sudden cardiac arrest victims living and working in the county. The first phase of HeartSAFE Berks County resulted in the delivery of more than 230 AEDs to police departments and first responders.
At no cost to the schools, the current HearSAFE Berks County program will:
* Conduct safety inspections in all Berks County's public schools
* Train faculty and students in CPR and AED use
* Improve awareness of safety equipment and procedures
* Inspect, and, where needed, upgrade, replace, or install AEDs
Survival rates increase to 30 to 70 percent when a properly trained person uses an AED on a victim within three minutes from the onset of a cardiac arrest.