Hundreds of school coaches throughout Polk County are getting trained and certified in critical life-saving techniques, thanks to a partnership with Lakeland Regional Health.
Last weekend, LRH conducted the first of several training sessions focused on the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) and CPR. The free training is being conducted at PCPS schools and is open to public, private and charter school coaches in Polk.
The training is part of the Zachary Martin Act signed into law last year. Beginning June 1, those coaching in the Florida High School Athletic Association must be CPR and AED certified. The bill also requires a school employee or volunteer with current training in CPR and AED use to be present at each athletic event during and outside of the school year.
“This is much-needed, long-awaited training. Our parents need to know that if something happens, we have people properly trained to address the situation. It’s important they know their student-athletes are in good hands,” said Dan Talbot, senior athletics coordinator for Polk County Public Schools. “For Lakeland Regional Health to step in and help us meet the requirements of the new state law is truly amazing. We’re so appreciative that we have people in our community we can partner with for this common goal: the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.”
LRH’s clinical nursing team members are leading each session. Certification is good through 2023.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Polk County Public Schools to offer this life-saving training, as we know time is of the essence in individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest,” said Patrick Phillips, Lakeland Regional Health’s senior vice president of business Development and chief strategy officer. “At Lakeland Regional Health, we are committed to reaching beyond the walls of our Medical Center to strengthen the health of our community.”