Camanche School District becomes second “Heart Safe” school in Iowa

AED and CPR training has been available in the district since August
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 5:30 PM CST
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CAMANCHE, Iowa (KWQC) - The Camanche School District is pioneering a new project that aims focus on AED and CPR training. Camanche is the second school in Iowa to adopt Project Adam.

Project Adam --coined in 1999 after a 17-year-old student in Wisconsin collapsed and died during a basketball game from cardiac arrest-- was created by his parents to make sure all schools are equipped and ready to go in case of a medical emergengy.

Camanche resource officer Cory Snodgrass says it’s a no-brainer for other schools to follow in their footsteps and join Project Adam.

I asked, “What advice would you give to other districts that are looking at doing this? Why should they do this?”

His response, “My question then, but why wouldn’t they do it?”

Assistant Principal Josh Davis has been spearheading this program since August when the district superintendent brought it to his attention.

“Our superintendent was made aware of the project by a local businessman who let some of the schools near know and it’s in with conjunction with the University of Iowa Hospitals,” Davis said. “So after looking into the program and researching a little bit on the website, we decided it was something that we should go forward with here and Comanche.”

Each school is now equipped with multiple AEDs.

:All of our buildings have AEDs,” said the Camanche district nurse Amanda Hoerschelmann. “Some have multiple. They’re kept in these cabinets and every day we go around and make sure this light is on which means our AED is ready to go if we need it.”

TV6 had the chance to see the team in action as they walked us through a simulation of the process.

“Our first mission would be to start high quality CPR that gives people the best chance of survival,” Hoerschelmann said. “So we would make sure the scene is safe, the person is not responsive, and we would go ahead and start with CPR. As soon as somebody from our team would bring the AED, we would go ahead and get that on. That team member would be putting the ad on while the person that started compressions would continue doing that.”

All of this happens in a matter of minutes before professional medical services arrive on scene, but those few minutes are a matter of life and death.

“For everybody who falls for cardiac incident, every minute, they say is about 10% of viability going,” Snodgrass said. “So if we don’t get CPR started until our EMTs, or paramedics get here, let’s say that’s three to five minutes into our wonderful town, it says a faster response time, you’re losing 30 to 50% of a person’s chance of survival.”