Florida students learn how to save lives

9th-, 11th-grade students at Seminole High School get hands-on CPR practice

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Over 950 freshman and junior students at Seminole High School got to skip class on Wednesday, but for a good reason.

They received first aid basic training by those who go out and save lives every day: Seminole County firefighters and paramedics.

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“Approximately 90% who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital will die, so any chance of survivability we can give to them is very crucial,” said Lt. Anthony Bowman, of Seminole County Fire Rescue.

Malachi Daley, a junior at the school, said he was happy to practice hands-only CPR with the first responders.

“It feels good just knowing that you can help someone one day,” Daley said.

Students watched a 40-minute video that shows what to do during an emergency until help arrives.

They learned the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest.

Then students walked on stage and used mannequins to perform hands-only CPR in front of paramedics.

“I’m in the magnet program here at Seminole High School and I want to go into sports medicine in the field, so I think this is the right track,” Antonio Simpson said.

Principal Jordan Rodriguez explained the training comes after a bill passed last year requiring first aid training in Florida public schools.

“It’s a one-hour nationally recognized CPR course in the public health sector of the school,” Rep. Fred Hawkins said when the bill was signed into law. “So many people are afraid to act thinking they’ll do something wrong and Florida has laws to protect them, that’s the one thing that was asked during this whole committee process.”

The bill requires ninth and 11th grade students to learn CPR.

“These kids are not being fully certified. They are getting access, hands on, on how to do it and this training alone, without the certification, could save a life,” Rodriguez said.

About the Authors:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.