North Adams Pupils Get Crash Course in Emergency Response

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Paramedic Amalio Jusino runs an emergency clinic Friday morning for pupils in James Holmes' science class at Sullivan School. 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Sullivan Elementary School seventh-graders received CPR training and learned emergency protocols Friday morning.

Amalio Jusino, assistant chief of North Adams Ambulance Service, provided a two-day clinic on emergency services and certified Jim Holmes's seventh-grade class in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"The more kids that are certified the better it is going to be for someone who is going down," Holmes said. "Some of these kids may have an opportunity to save a life someday."

Holmes' science class is learning the body systems, and he has implemented this clinic into the curriculum.

"We go through all the body systems," he said. "We do the circulatory system and the repository system, and this is the culminating activity."

Jusino showed students the application of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). He measured students' heart rates and blood pressure and showed them how the machine would be used during an emergency.

"We learned about the AED, and a person only has a 7 percent chance of survival with CPR," student Evan O'Dell said. "If you use the AED, you bring it up to a 70 percent survival rate, so it's better to use the AED along with the CPR."

Jusino explained CPR protocol and told students how to react if they see someone collapse.

"When someone is on the ground you should make sure the scene is safe and that you have gloves on," student Ayrian Quinones said. "If they are not responding you should start CPR automatically and call 911."

Quinones sees the benefits of becoming CPR certified at a young age.

"If you are babysitting it is a good thing to know," she said.

After the classroom portion of the clinic, Jusino took the students outside and gave them a tour of the ambulance. The students then performed a mock accident where they put a student on a stretcher and loaded them into the ambulance.

Jusino believes there is a benefit in exposing children to emergency practices.

"It's good to learn this at a younger age because they retain so much," he said. "My feeling is that if they go on to work in emergency services, they will be much better providers."

Along with the applicable aspects of the clinic, Jusino sees educational benefits as well.

"Life is the science of alternatives, and you have to be able to think outside of the box," Jusino said. "There is always another way to do something, and it is a good way to think."

Jusino would like to see more emergency response training in education and discussed a possible cadet program that would give students under the age of 18 emergency training. He said students who participate in the program would be able to respond to emergencies in their schools. 

Tags: CPR training,   emergency preparedness,   Sullivan School,   

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