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Billings students earn life-saving skills at CPR class

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 07, 2024

Would you know what to do if you came upon someone unresponsive or suffering a heart attack?

There’s a good chance that a freshman in the Billings school system would.

“We have taught thousands and thousands of students CPR,” says Sandy Pearson, an educator with the Billings Clinic.

Freshman students at Billings Senior High School learned important skills this week that could possibly save a life.

“If they just call 911 and wait, probably not going to get them back. We need to get on that chest and start doing compressions immediately,” says Pearson.

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Billings Clinic has been bringing CPR training into Billings high schools for over 20 years. Freshman who complete the two-day course can earn their certification.

“Most cardiac arrests outside the hospital happen at home, so this could be a family member, a close friend. We see kids are going down with heart attacks now so the more people we have trained to step up and start doing CPR that is how we save them,” says Pearson.

“I didn’t really know CPR before, but I babysit I work with children so I thought I should get certified it would be good for me to know,” said Jenna Shelton, a student at Senior.

Students get hands-on experience using an automated external defibrillator or AED. The shock can improve the chances of survival for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. They are shown what to do if someone is choking and they learn how to administer Narcan in the event of an opioid overdose.

“This is really important I think to learn especially when it comes to drug overdoses because a lot of teens use drugs. They are young and they want to experiment, and it could turn really bad really fast,” said Shelton.

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Students who pass the course can get their certification for $15. The Billings Clinic will pick up the tab for those who can’t afford it.

“Whether they get a CPR card or not when they leave this class, they can do CPR if someone goes down,” says Pearson.

Students like Jenna Shelton expressed confidence afterwards that they would be able to perform CPR if they ever found themselves in a situation that calls for it.

“I think I could do. I think I’d be good. I could do it,” she says.