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Black Hawk Elementary Student Council Raises Money For AED

With the help of its Student Council, the Black Hawk Elementary school outside of Rapid City is getting its first AED – or automated external defibrillator - to help save the life of anyone going in to cardiac arrest.

Red Cross officials say that over three-hundred-fifty-thousand people will suffer from cardiac arrest this year. They say AED’s are a valuable tool that could help save up to fifty-thousand of those lives and that delivering a shock from a defibrillator within the first minute of cardiac arrest increases a person’s survival rate to ninety-five percent. With each passing minute though, the survival rate decreases by ten percent.

Marc Page is a firefighter and paramedic in Rapid City. He says during a round of recent CPR training, he noticed there are schools that do not have AED’s. He brought it to the attention of school nurses – but in Black Hawk, it is the students who ultimately made it happen. Page says the students did an outstanding job of securing funds to make sure their school is properly equipped with this life-saving device.

“Black Hawk Elementary Student Council picked the ball up and ran with that and they raised over a thousand dollars, which is a very significant portion of the cost for equipping the school with an AED,” says Page.

Page says anyone can use the AED when needed because the device has voice commands that direct the user. He adds that there is no other medical equipment that has a similar proven track record for survivability of cardiac arrest patients. A ceremony to dedicate the AED is being held at the Black Hawk School on Friday. Black Hawk Elementary is one of thirteen schools in the Rapid City area that is being equipped with an AED.