Van Buren School District staff members are getting a little extra help with their health and safety training, thanks to the generosity of two district partners.

The American Heart Association and Simmons Foods Inc. recently donated 20 manikins to the VBSD to aid in teaching faculty life-saving first aid techniques and CPR procedures.

The manikins are specially designed for demonstrating CPR and how to use AEDs, or automated external defibrillators.

VBSD nurses have been traveling to each campus to teach staff members how to properly care for individuals in the event of an accident or health incident. The health professionals use the manikins to walk faculty through the processes of performing CPR and in using AED equipment. Participants are then able to try first-hand what they learned on the manikins.

“The tools from Simmons and AHA are being utilized in all of our demonstrations for CPR/AED at each school,” said VBSD nurse Tara Dorrough. “Each staff member has the opportunity to practice CPR compressions on the donated manikins. This helps them to better understand the procedures and makes our demonstrations even more impactful.”

In addition to learning about CPR and AEDs, district educators have been reviewing other health and safety procedures, including how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, bleeding control techniques and general first aid practices.

Nurses also educate participants on how to identify allergic reactions and how to administer an EpiPen during such an event.

“Ensuring the overall health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority for the Van Buren School District,” said VBSD Activities Administrator Drew Cone. “Demonstrations such as these help our building staff be better equipped to handle difficult situations that may arise in their classroom or on campus. We are grateful to both Simmons Foods and the American Heart Association for their generous donation and for their commitment to help our students and staff stay safe.”