La Petite Academy of Richmond recently became the first school in Virginia’s capital city to receive a Project ADAM designation as an official Heart Safe School. “This gives parents peace of mind,” says School Director Ashley Hall. “When they leave their child in our care, they are leaving them with professionals who are prepared and equipped to save lives.”
To receive the important recognition, a school must train every employee how to recognize and react to the signs and symptoms of a cardiac emergency. “I have a lot of pride knowing that every staff member is First Aid, AED, and CPR certified,” explains Hall. She worked diligently with her local fire department to facilitate extensive training sessions that helped her team meet the requirements and develop a plan.
Hall says a few situations prompted her interest in connecting with the national initiative. “A couple years ago, for example, one of our teachers got stung by a wasp and it put her into cardiac arrest,” Hall shares. “So, when I was made aware of Project ADAM (by a parent), I knew this was something my school needed to get involved with.”
ADAM stands for Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory. The community outreach program honors a young, sports-loving teenager whose life was cut short after an unexpected cardiac emergency. Healthy otherwise, Adam collapsed during a high school basketball game and was unable to be revived. His family started Project ADAM after learning defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) could have saved his life.
Each year in the United States, there are around 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests. About 90 percent of them are fatal. It can happen to anyone at any age and every second matters. The mission of Project ADAM is to save lives by empowering schools, communities, and youth teams to be prepared.
So far, Project ADAM is responsible for giving more than 200 people a second chance. As of August 2023, there are 38 Project ADAM-affiliated sites across 29 states. Will your school or community be next? Visit https://www.projectadam.com/ to learn more.