John Adams High School recognized by American Heart Association as Queens first CPR Smart School

The American Heart Association joined with school officials to announce John Adams High School has been designated Queens first CPR Smart School.

CPR Smart is an initiative by the American Heart Association to encourage high schools to require hands-only CPR training as part of either Health or Physical Education classes so that every student is prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies.

“I applaud John Adams High School for pioneering the CPR Smart initiative in Queens and becoming the borough’s first CPR Smart school,” said Physical Education Teacher, Ms. Josephine Nasta “I am looking forward to seeing even more of our borough’s schools equip students with these lifesaving tools.”

“John Adams High School is proud to be designated as Queens first CPR Smart School,” stated Principal Daniel Scanlon. “Science shows that the first few minutes are critical when it comes to responding to a cardiac emergency.  Together with the American Heart Association, we are preparing all of our students to respond quickly and responsibly in order to help save a life.  As a result, we expect Queens will be a safer place to live and work.”

“Heart disease is our city’s leading cause of death, with more than 325,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring annually in the United States,” stated Sean Scott, Community Grassroots Specialist for the American Heart Association.  “Unfortunately, about 90 percent of victims in our city do not survive.  With so few New Yorkers knowing how to do CPR, this is a crisis we hope to help fix.  These students today will become tomorrow’s lifesavers.”

Students will be taught the basic essentials regarding Hands-Only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator.) Students will learn how to identify someone in sudden cardiac arrest, when to call 911, the importance of early Hands-Only CPR and the use of an AED. Students will be asked to perform a demonstration of the psychomotor skills necessary for quality chest compressions.

The American Heart Association has worked for years to have a CPR in Schools policy in place for New York high schools. Currently, twenty-one other states have implemented this training standard for high school students.  The training can be achieved in a number of ways that entail little or no cost for schools.  This winter, the FDNY announced they would devote significant training resources for schools to train their students.

Teachers do not have to be certified to help train students.  Just 30 minutes of time at some point over the 4 years of a student’s high school education, and the willingness to partner with available resources, and schools can comply with the training standard.

John Adams High School received a certificate of merit, an “honor roll” mention on the American Heart Association social media sites and CPR Smart window signage to proudly display.

A school can become a CPR Smart School by adopting a written policy that ensures students:

  •  learn how to recognize when someone is in possible cardiac arrest,
  •  learn hands-only CPR and practice compressions
  •  learn the importance and basics of an AED. Student certification is not required.

For an application or more information to become a CPR Smart School contact the American Heart Association’s Senior Government Relations Director Robin Vitale at

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