More than 6,000 high school students in Compton are learning the skills to save a life during a series of Hands-Only CPR trainings on campus, a gift made possible by the American Heart Association (AHA), with funding from the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF).

Earlier this month, former Dodger and Dominguez High School graduate Kenny Landreaux joined Compton Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees President Micah Ali, CUSD Superintendent Dr. Darin Brawley, CUSD Police Chief William Wu, J.D., LADF Executive Director Nichol Whiteman and AHA Affiliate Development Officer Shawn Casey for a program launch with high school students and police officers.

“Equipping high school students in the Compton Unified School district with CPR kits uniquely couples our health and education pillars,” said Nichol Whiteman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation “We are thrilled to partner with the American Heart Association and the Compton Police Department to offer thousands of students this empowering and lifesaving skill.”

CUSD received more than 25 CPR in Schools kits. Developed by the American Heart Association using the latest science, each kit contains 10 inflatable manikins, 10 AED training simulators, five training DVDs, lesson plans and other materials that can teach hundreds of students. The kit enables students to practice on a manikin while watching skills performed correctly on the DVD, a research-proven way to learn and retain lifesaving CPR skills. Additionally, students will learn to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, and to provide choking relief.

“Teaching our high schools students CPR will put thousands of qualified lifesavers in our community year after year,” said Ravi Dave, MD, Immediate Past President of the American Heart Association Los Angeles County Division Board of Directors and a cardiologist with UCLA Health. “Everyone benefits from having more lifesavers in our community, especially when you consider that every hour about 40 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital.”

“We are very grateful for such a generous contribution and investment in our district’s scholars. I am looking forward to seeing the training being delivered to all 6,000 students, knowing they will be able to say that, in addition to a quality education, they gained life-saving skills while attending school in Compton,” said Compton Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Darin Brawley.

“The fact that the American Heart Association and the LA Dodgers Foundation have made such a tremendous commitment to our district’s students speaks volumes about them as vital contributors to the wellbeing of our youth. Partnerships such as this are important, as Compton Unified School District continues its efforts to give our students access to unprecedented opportunities that will prepare them for success in school and life,” added Compton Unified School District Board President Micah Ali.

With 70 percent of all cardiac arrests occurring at home, family and friends need to learn how to double or triple their loved one’s chance of survival. Currently in Los Angeles County, only three percent of cardiac arrest victims survive.

Nationwide, nearly 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest every year away from a hospital environment. Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest, since the lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time. While emergency responders are on their way to the scene, 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute using hands-only CPR will help provide the ongoing blood flow needed to give the patient a much better chance of survival once responders arrive.