Heart Hero Stories
The American Heart Association is pleased to recognize the efforts of educators who teach students the lifesaving skills of CPR as part of their curriculum. Together we are training the next generation of lifesavers. You can read more about these schools and teachers below.
In addition, we proudly share stories of heroic efforts made by students and teachers to save lives with CPR in real-world emergencies.
Pat Ames teaches at East Middle School in Aurora, Colorado. He implemented the AHA’s CPR in Schools Training Kit™ curriculum and trained 630 kids in just 3 days! East Middle School also trained 150 people during their school’s Family Science Night. “It was truly amazing to watch the kids training their parents and the parents checking out a take-home kit to train others in CPR in their neighborhoods.” Since then, Ames has teamed up with a colleague and other middle schools in Aurora to share the CPR in Schools Training Kits, resulting in more students trained in Hands-Only CPR each year. “The portability of the kits allows teachers to easily transport from one school to another,” says Ames. “We love it.”
Anderson Elementary School
Superintendent Brett Banker used the words “right spot at the right time” to describe the bravery that the staff of Anderson Elementary School in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, exhibited when Ronald Millburn went into cardiac arrest while watching his granddaughter’s fourth-grade basketball game at the school gymnasium. Just the day before, several teachers and staff had taken a CPR class on their day off. They jumped into action to perform CPR and save Millburn’s life. The school has just used grant money to purchase AEDs for every building.
Josh Smith & Roland Vernon
When a student at Bixby High School in Oklahoma went into cardiac arrest, school staff members Josh Smith and Roland Vernon rushed to his aid. While in class, Jonathan Fussell’s heart failed him and sent him into cardiac arrest. Luckily, Bixby Public Schools faculty and staff are trained in CPR and AED use. Teacher Josh Smith began CPR on Jonathan as Assistant Principal Roland Vernon grabbed an AED. Together they worked on Jonathan until help arrived. Barbara Smart says the “quick action of those involved is the reason [her] grandson Jonathan is still alive today.”
Dr. Tina Bozeman & Metro Nashville Fire Department
Students at Martin Luther King Magnet High in Nashville, Tennessee are receiving lifesaving CPR training thanks to Dr. Tina Bozeman and a grant from the Metro Nashville Fire Department. Dr. Bozeman is a Lifetime Wellness teacher at MLK and has implemented the American Heart Association’s CPR in Schools® curriculum into her course. “Students are far more qualified and far more confident in providing CPR because of the hands-on experience they receive in this classroom,” she proudly says. American Heart Association CPR courses have both cognitive and psychomotor skills components, allowing for greater skills retention.