Since the beginning of the year Rome High and Middle School have certified about a quarter of its population in CPR, basic first aid and proper use of an automated external defibrillator.

“Quite an endeavor but we think it is worth it,” Holly Amerman, CTAE director, CEO of the Rome College and Career Academy said.

The training to get over 700 students certified took about three hours per student, she said, and the logistics of it was a little interesting but it worked out.

The three pathways involved in this program were healthcare science, early childhood education and law and public safety.

Most of these students were freshmen, with a few sophomores added to the classes.

Abra Gordon, Lauren Fallin and Melissa Green are educators who help the healthcare science pathway students to reach their goals, and Floyd Medical Center’s CPR trainers check off on the skills they learn in class. The students are then certified by FMC’s trainers and issued a certificate valid for two years when they are able to demonstrate the steps of CPR.

“We have nine classes being certified today and there are roughly 30 students in each class,” said Lauren Fallin, who teaches the Intro to Healthcare Science pathway at Rome High School. “When they are in our healthcare program, they have to be certified in CPR before they start clinicals. Most of these students are freshmen, so they will be re-certified again during their junior year. We want to make sure they are prepared.”

Jamie Brannon, assistant director for Floyd Corporate Health, was joined by three CPR instructors from Floyd and they reviewed the material with the class before checking their skills for certification. Students learned how to use an automated external defibrillator, the order of steps in caring for someone who is in distress and the proper techniques when administering CPR to a victim.

This training was completely free for the students, Amerman said. The CTAE program found grant money to put forward to make sure the students received the training at no personal cost to them. That shouldn't be a barrier, she said.

Amerman said next year there may be slightly fewer students certified, but the number should still be close to 500.

“The goal is to prepare kids for careers once they leave us,” she said.