Ishpeming Public Schools earns MI HEARTsafe designation

North Central UP

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Ishpeming Public Schools has received the designation as a MI HEARTsafe school.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services awards the designation to schools that meet the following criteria:

  • A written medical emergency response plan reviewed at least annually with staff
  • A medical emergency response team with current CPR/AED training, sufficient to respond to an emergency during school hours and organized after-school activities
  • Current CPR/AED training for at least 10% of staff, 50% of coaches and 100% of varsity head coaches and physical education staff
  • A sufficient number of accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs ready to use, with signs identifying AED locations
  • Performance of at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year
  • Pre-participation sports screening for all athletes using the most current form endorsed by Michigan High School Athletic Association

Ishpeming Public Schools Superintendent, Carrie Meyer says school districts across the state work hard to ensure they are prepared for any type of emergency, including cardiac emergencies. Meyer says they have been working hard over the past few years to update their plans and include a cardiac emergency plan.

“We have a number of our staff who’s on our response team who are CPR certified and AED certified,” said Meyer. “We try to make sure that there’s kind of a vast array of staff that are certified in different buildings, different floors, so if an emergency is to happen there’s somebody closeby who can respond.”

Meyer says they have help from the school nurse in managing their cardiac emergency response plan. The nurse plans cardiac emergency drills once a year and sets up CPR and AED (Automated external defibrillator) training.

“Our school nurse that we have employed makes sure that she goes through the list of who our response people are and our coaches and makes sure that she sets up those trainings every year,” said Meyer. “They need to be done annually so she makes sure that that’s taken care of.”

The school has AEDs in every school in various locations. Meyer says they try to have one on every floor as well as near the gymnasiums and football field. They also have their cardiac emergency response plan and information about AEDs near the one on the first floor in Ishpeming High School.

“We have a number of students and staff, we have hundreds of kids in our building every day and so something could happen at any moment and we need to be prepared to handle those types of situation,” said Meyer. “Making sure that we can respond timely and get them the help that they need and then move them on to the hospital for appropriate care.”

Emergency responses require teamwork. Meyer says she commends the staff, school nurse and response teams for stepping up to make sure they have a prepared school district.

“We work together for the good of the children and the staff, it comes naturally to our staff to really pull together in a time of emergency when an emergency is to actually happen you have to have multiple people who can respond because there’s going to be multiple jobs,” said Meyer. “You need somebody running, you need somebody taking care of the individual, you need somebody calling 911.”

The designation takes attention so that emergency response plans, certifications and equipment stay up to date. Ishpeming Public Schools will have to renew their designation in 2023.

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