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Students get to work on life-saving CPR technique

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — With assistance from a grant from the Highmark Foundation, CPR kits have been provided to every high school in Cabell, Wayne and Mason counties so that students can learn the life-saving skill before they graduate, in accordance with a new state law.

Ten Huntington High School students demonstrated hands-only CPR at a celebration assembly for the American Heart Association’s “CPR in Schools” kits on Monday, The Herald-Dispatch reported.

With heart disease being the most common cause of death in the state, all West Virginia high school students are required to learn CPR training in health classes before graduation. The requirement, which was signed into law by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last year, has been in place since July.

The three counties were chosen for the free kits because the region has the highest rate of heart disease in the state, said Catherine McCalister, manager of corporate communications for the health insurance company Highmark West Virginia.

Hands-only CPR involves chest compressions and is legal for any person to perform regardless of certification.

Parkersburg native Caleb Tisdale told the group of Huntington students Monday that he had used CPR years ago to save the life of a camper who was struck by lightning.

“Take the time to learn it,” Tisdale said. “You never know when it’s going to be your loved one. … CPR could drastically change the outcome and the destiny of your life.”