Cassia County School District adds medical emergency training

Published: Aug. 8, 2017 at 5:53 PM MDT
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When there's an emergency at school, teachers are the first line of defense for your children.

"Preparedness is very, very important to keep our students and our staff safe," said Cassia County School District nurse Kyle Hodges, which is why she's implementing MERT training district wide.

"MERT stands for medical emergency response teams," Hodges said.

Those teams will consist of five staff members at each school who are trained to act in a medical emergency.

"Being in the gym, working with high school athletes that is something that you want to know," said Juan Angelo Rodriguez, the new athletic director for Oakley High School.

The staff members took a CPR certification class, but that was only part of the course.

"We went through asthma, anaphylaxis, we went through diabetes and sudden cardiac arrest," Hodges said.

Because of it's layout, she said she feels Cassia County needs this program.

"Our school district is very far spread apart," she said. "We're a distance from the hospital and we rely on EMS and QRU (quick response) units," especially because Hodges is the only nurse for all 17 of the district's schools.

"Without a school nurse in every single building we rely on secretaries and staff members," she said.

If there was an emergency, the five trained people would take control while waiting for help to arrive.

"I think if everybody's on the same page and everybody has an assignment in the school, then it doesn't create as much chaos," Rodriguez said.

Hodges says this is what she's trying to accomplish.

"It helps to make our schools a little bit safer by knowing we can activate those people," she said. "They've had special training."