Clarence High School Students Learn a Lifesaving Beat

Students learn the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only™ CPR this week

L-R: Freshman John Schnier, Senior Amanda Karac, Senior Nichole Banaszak, Freshman Joe Loewer

L-R: Freshman John Schnier, Senior Amanda Karac, Senior Nichole Banaszak, Freshman Joe Loewer

The entire student body at Clarence High School is being trained in bystander CPR April 28 – May 1st. Using the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only™ CPR, the Emily Rose Memorial Fund has coordinated the efforts that will result in nearly 1,600 students in the Clarence community ready to respond in a cardiac emergency. Equipment and instructors have been generously donated from a number of organizations including, Clarence Volunteer Fire Company, Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company, Kelkenberg Construction, CPR—The Pulse Center, and Twin City Ambulance.

The American Heart Association is urging passage of a state law that would require all high school students know CPR before graduation. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Grisanti (S7096/A9298). The instruction at Clarence High School will show how easily this life-saving skill can be taught, with no cost to the school.

“Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year.  It’s time to add New York to the growing list of states that has passed this legislation,” said Senator Mark Grisanti. “I’m honored to sponsor the CPR schools legislation in the New York State Senate and I am proud to work in partnership with the American Heart Association advocates to help make this bill become a law.”

The Emily Rose Memorial Fund honors the late Emily Rose Adamczak. Emily tragically passed away in 2009 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest on a town soccer field in Akron. She was 14 years old. Her mother, Annette Adamczak, has since become an American Heart Association CPR instructor and has made it her mission to teach this lifesaving skill.

“Student safety and well-being is a top priority at Clarence,” says Geoffrey Hicks, Superintendent. “Thanks to the guidelines from the American Heart Association, and instruction by Mrs. Adamczak, we are afforded the opportunity to teach every Clarence High School student truly lifesaving skills.”

Hands-Only CPR can be taught in 30 minutes or less, so it fits easily into a school day. CPR can double or triple a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Since 300,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest every year, the need to know CPR is crucial. According to the American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of a sudden cardiac arrest in an adult.  That’s enough time for first responders to arrive.

“Any skills to better prepare Clarence students for what lies ahead is so important.  Hands-Only CPR training is one of those important opportunities,” said State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. “I applaud the efforts of Annette Adamczak, the American Heart Association and the Clarence Central School District.”

After this week’s training, the physical education teachers will have the skills to maintain and implement the Hands-Only CPR training into the curriculum year after year. Special thanks to the instructors that helped with training this week including Chief Bill Major, Annette Adamczak, Sean Hulsman, Robert Kasper, Gretchen Kasper, Dana Lash, Amy Major, Jim Schlabach, Mike Zaidel, and Mark Zuchlewski.

The American Heart Association has created a web site to help advocate for the CPR in Schools legislation, visit to help.


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