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Implementing Heart Safe Schools


Project ADAM Heart Safe School designation is attained by schools upon successful implementation of a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a Heart Safe environment for students, visitors and staff as outlined within the Heart Safe School Checklist.

What is the need?

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the U.S., taking the lives of over 326,200 every year in the community.
  • The current average survival rate of SCA in the community is approximately 10.6%.
  • Approximately 20 percent of a community is in its schools on any given day, including students, teachers, staff and family members. A focused effort on cardiac arrest preparedness in schools is critical to protecting our children and others in the school community.

What is a Heart Safe School?

  1. Ensuring AEDs are available and accessible.
  2. Having a written plan and team of CPR/AED-trained staff ready to act in an emergency.
  3. Conducting cardiac emergency response practice drills.

What are the benefits?

  • Being prepared to appropriately respond to sudden cardiac arrest on campus, increasing the potential to save the life of a student, staff member, or visitor.
  • Free school consultations, templates and videos to support schools in earning their designation.
  • Heart Safe School celebration and a personalized school banner to promote your designation.

How to become a Heart Safe School:

  1. Connect with your school leadership and conduct a cardiac emergency preparedness assessment of your school campus by completing and returning the Heart Safe School Checklist.
  2. On the national website, follow the steps that are outlined on the Heart Safe Schools tab. Download and customize templates to begin building your program, and contact our Wisconsin team if you need assistance along the way.
  3. Once you have completed the process, complete and return: 
    1. Heart Safe School Checklist
    2. AED Drill Summary Checklist
    3. Designation Acknowledgment Form

How to promote your designation:

  • Once you become a Heart Safe School, Project ADAM will:
  • Your school can get the word out too! Being prepared for a sudden cardiac emergency is an amazing accomplishment that should be shared with your community.Your efforts may also motivate neighboring schools. Use these resources to do the following:

Michael’s story: Surviving sudden cardiac arrest on the basketball court

Watch this video to learn how 16-year-old Michael Saxby survived the unimaginable, and how things could have turned out very differently had the school and staff been unprepared.

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