American Heart Association and Dartmouth Health teaming up to save lives by providing lifesaving CPR training kits to 15 NH schools

Elyse Pert, Health Science Instructor, and David Warrender, Director, of Huot Career and Technical Center accept the kit donation from the Association’s Robyn Birren.

Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critically important. CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Quick, simple and easy-to-learn, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective in the first few minutes as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.

June 1-7 each year is National CPR Awareness Week, spotlighting how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR. That is why the American Heart Association, the worldwide leader in resuscitation science and education, and Dartmouth Health are adding lifesavers to the chain of survival by providing Hands-Only CPR educational resources to New Hampshire schools.

“By providing the tools and education to schools for students and staff to learn Hands-Only CPR, we have the chance to equip these people with a lifelong skill that could absolutely save a life someday,” said Eric S. Rothstein, MD, a cardiologist with the Heart & Vascular Center of Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. “The Heart & Vascular Center is committed to promoting CPR education, and teaming up with the American Heart Association on this effort is a natural partnership. Our goal is to help make New Hampshire communities safer by educating school staff and students on these lifesaving skills.”

The Association and Dartmouth Health will focus on Hands-Only CPR education at New Hampshire Career and Technical (CTE) Schools. As a part of the collaboration, 15 CPR in Schools Training Kits™ will be placed throughout New Hampshire at the following CTE schools:

  • Oliva Huot Technical Center, Laconia
  • Lakes Region Technology Center, Wolfeboro
  • North Point CTE, Colebrook
  • Berlin Public Schools, Berlin
  • Mount Washington Valley Career & Technical Center, North Conway
  • CONVAL High School CTE, Peterborough
  • Cheshire Career Center, Keene
  • Palmer CTE Center at Alvirne High School, Hudson
  • Pinkerton Academy, Derry
  • Manchester School of Technology, Manchester
  • Portsmouth Career & Technical Center, Portsmouth
  • Creteau Technology Center, Rochester
  • Dover High School & Regional Career Technical Center, Dover
  • Concord Regional Technical Center, Concord
  • Seacoast School of Technology, Exeter

The American Heart Association’s newly upgraded CPR in Schools Training Kit™ enables students to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR in just one class period. Plus, the kit teaches AED use and choking relief. The easy-to-use kit is designed specifically for the needs of schools. The kit’s wheeled bag allows for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. It’s also reusable – one kit can train hundreds of staff and students.

In the U.S., cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital, and about 20 percent occur in public places. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and can no longer pump blood to the brain or vital organs. Within seconds, a person becomes unresponsive and may not be breathing. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.

“Unfortunately, too many sudden cardiac arrest victims don’t get the help they need,” said Brian Shankey, executive director of the American Heart Association, Northern New England. “Knowing how to respond in a cardiac emergency when seconds matter is literally the difference between life and death. Thanks to Dartmouth Health’s support, we will be able to help thousands of people to respond in those crucial first moments after cardiac arrest.”

Hands-Only CPR is recommended for bystanders to use when someone suddenly collapses from cardiac arrest to keep the heart pumping until professional medical help arrives. Hands-Only CPR has two easy steps:

  1. First, call 911 when you see a teen or adult collapse suddenly.
  2. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the person’s chest until professional help arrives. Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.

“Through our CPR in Schools Training Kit and Train the Trainer program, we are empowering students to lead their school community by becoming true lifesavers,” said Robyn Birren, the Association’s School Engagement Director for New Hampshire.

For more information about Hands-Only CPR and other CPR training resources, visit If you would like to learn more about bringing lifesaving skills such as Hands-Only CPR training to your New Hampshire school community, contact Robyn Birren at

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