Kearsley District Earns HEARTsafe Designation

Kearsley District Earns HEARTsafe Designation
Posted on 12/15/2020
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Kearsley Schools are keeping hearts safe, it’s official. We are a HEARTSafe District. 

All six schools - Pumpkin Patch, Weston, Dowdall and Fiedler elementaries, Armstrong Middle School and Kearsley High School - are part of 111 schools in the state of Michigan recognized for keeping up with cardiac preparedness efforts from the Michigan HEARTSafe School Program.

Kearsley Schools’ nurse, Nicole Cameron, RN, said she started working on getting the HEARTSafe designation for Kearsley shortly after she started at the District in 2015.

“We didn’t even have an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) at Dowdall when I started,” she said. “Now Dowdall has one and there are two new ones at the High School, a second for AMS and Fiedler and one for the Pumpkin Patch, all through donations from Wes Leonard Heart Foundation.” (

Cameron also took classes to become a CPR/AED first aid certified instructor and trained all the coaches in sports, part of the requirements. She said the administration was very supportive of the effort. In order for the schools to be recognized, they must have:

·         A written medical emergency response plan and a team that can respond to an emergency during social activities and sports

·         Current CPR/AED certification of at least 10 percent of staff and 50 percent of coaches, including 100 percent of varsity coaches and P.E. staff.

·         Accessible properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying locations.

·         Annual cardiac emergency response drills.

·         Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by MHSAA.

This meant designating six to 10 employees from each Kearsley school to serve on the MERT (Medical Emergency Response Team) and creating a written medical emergency response plan for guidance on what to do in case of certain emergencies.

The team meets once a year and this year, like everything else about 2020, because of Covid the meeting will be virtual, the drill in January, too. Cameron said it may be odd, “but we’ll get it done. Student safety is number one at Kearsley.”

The HEARTSafe designation is recognized by the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (MDHHS and Education (MDE), American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY).

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