Dozens of students at Richmond High received crucial lessons on life-saving CPR techniques on Monday — and also the tools needed to perform them.
On Monday afternoon, Chevron Richmond Fire Battalion Chief Grant Tokiwa delivered a special and at times sobering training session for the students. In addition, Chevron donated a CPR Kit to the school that includes 10 blow-up mannequins, a pump, 10 mats and a Teacher Training Kit.
The kit provides the tools and guidance needed to get students and staff up to speed on a modern approach to CPR called the “hands-only technique” — which includes chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth breathing.
Joined by a representative of the American Heart Association, Tokiwa used a mannequin to walk students through the necessary steps of saving a person who has suffered from cardiac arrest, heart attack or other emergency.
The training wasn’t always easy to hear.
“The real thing is just like everybody’s chest that you ever seen or felt: It’s pretty stable, pretty stiff,” said Tokiwa, a Richmond High alum. “You actually have to push deep enough to break the cartilage that separates the ribs from the sternum in order to be able to push deep enough to squeeze that heart.”
Gianna Pascale, a representative with the American Heart Association, added another unfortunate truth to this scenario: in most situations when CPR is needed, our loved ones are the patients.
“It’s extremely important to learn how to take action,” Pascale said, adding later, “Before you do anything, make sure you call 911 first.”
Along with the new CPR Kit, students received information sheets with further training on responding to emergency situations.
Monday’s donation and training is part of Chevron’s decade-long partnership with the American Heart Association.
“Chevron is always concerned about the health of our community, health of our employees and the health of our neighbors,” said Andrea Bailey, community engagement manager for Chevron Richmond.
Pascale stressed the importance of corporate partnerships to place modern life-saving tools and trainings in schools, neighborhood centers and other locations.
“Our partnership with Chevron is so important,” she said. “Hands-only CPR takes about five minutes to learn and it can help save the life of someone you love.”