Illinois is know for a lot of things: the Sears Tower and the Chicago Bears being two of the most popular. But did you know that State law requires Illinois high school students to be trained in CPR as part of their health class?
Through a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the American Heart Association every year select schools are presented with a CPR Training Kit to help.
The reason for this is called Lauren’s Law, named after Lauren Laman, a high school senior who went into cardiac arrest and later died.
It’s that tragic event that helps make this all possible. This year, Rantoul Township High School (RTHS) was awarded the CPR Training Kit.
“Someone could be on the street, maybe get hit by a car and you’re the only one there,” RTHS student William Storm said. “You need to know how to maybe help.”
When he’s not on the football field for the RTHS, Storm is learning lifesaving skills in Matt Leng’s health class.
Storm is also a lifeguard.
“You do sit and wait to do this,” Storm said. “So, sometimes you can forget to do some things.”
This class helps him at work.
“I think taking this class is a really good refresher on how to do all the steps,” Storm said.
One way to stay on beat with your chest compressions is “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees.
“We’re trying to teach kids how to use first-aid and any type of situation that warrants that and also try to save lives,” Leng said.
The CPR tool kit includes Manikins – automated external defibrillator training simulators.
“They will also get certified and trained in CPR for infants, children and adults,” said Leng.
Students earn school credit and get a two-year CPR certification.
Although storm doesn’t remember a time he had to perform CPR, if he had to, he’d be ready.
“CPR and first-aid is probably the most important thing you can know in the real world because you never know what could happen in your everyday life,” Storm said.
RTHS will receive the CPR toolkit in a few weeks. Last year, Urbana High School received a CPR training kit. Next year’s recipient hasn’t been announced yet.