PORTSMOUTH— Notre Dame Schools are celebrating after completing the Project Adam Heart Safe School Certification.
Project Adam is a program created by the parents of 17- year- old former basketball player in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. In 1999 their son Adam collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest and died, due to the lack of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Though this was in fact a tragedy, the result was a program that has brought resources and knowledge into schools that has saved the lives of youth across the nation.
Notre Dame school nurse, Kelsey Mader has been in charge of this initiative and said while it has been a process, she is so proud of the school for their dedication, “we decided to implement some new things at the beginning of this year and this caught our interest. We know how important this is, just look at the NFL incident last year with the player that collapsed, it’s scary and very real. We have been in contact with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and they sent someone down to evaluate us, he placed a mannequin in a location that were not aware of, who is called Adam who goes into distress. Once that takes place our team has to respond and we are timed and have to meet all criteria on the checklist.”
Schools across Scioto County are considered tier 2, which means that they do have AED’s in designated areas, but don’t have the specialized training and assigned cardiac response team. Notre Dame, is now considered tier 3 and the first and only school in our county currently with this expertise.
Mader said that this truly can make all the difference and that in an emergency situation you want to know your team is prepared, “Our students even know what to do now and how to alert someone because we have been practicing these drills. We value class time and didn’t want to disrupt too much, but we all felt that this was extremely important. I know that this can save a life and we all feel better that there is a plan in place because it can happen at any time.”