PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A longtime effort to put lifesaving devices in every Philadelphia school is just about complete.
It started 14 years ago, with a donation of 70 Automated External Defibrillators to Philadelphia high schools from the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
More donations covered middle schools, and this year the district is footing the bill for more than 100 AEDs in elementary schools with the goal of having one in all 220 district schools by the end of the month.
It’s a victory for AED advocate Rachel Moyer, who lost her son to cardiac arrest in 2000.
“My son walked off the court at halftime after playing basketball,” she said. “And he has collapsed in the locker room.”
The district’s Executive Director of Health, Safety and Physical Education Bettyann Creighton said, “The first thing everybody says when we provide an AED to a building is, ‘What about the training?'”
Principals gathered at school headquarters last week to acquaint themselves with the heart-shocking devices.
“Stay calm,” she said. “Follow these instructions.”
The devices cost about $1,500 each. The district is continuing to seek donations through The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia to replace aging AEDs.