Involving Students in School Safety Can Save Lives; This Campus Safety Director Has Proof
A UMS-Wright Preparatory School student who took an American Red Cross course saved the life of another student who went into cardiac arrest.
Since the 1999 Columbine High School tragedy, the main focus of many school safety discussions and legislation has been active assailant incidents. While it is an extremely important issue that needs to be continuously addressed, medical emergencies are much more likely to happen than physical attacks.
Depending on where you live in the United States, CPR, First Aid, and AED training are mandatory for some K-12 staff. In Alabama, these life-saving trainings are required for physical education teachers. However, at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, all of this trainings, in addition to Stop the Bleed, are required of all employees (2:14).
“We can have anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 fans, spectators, grandparents, alumni, etcetera, on our campus for an event, and having the ability to have 160 to 170 of our faculty members fully trained in CPR, First Aid, and AED would be extremely beneficial,” said Garrett Humphrey, Director of Campus Safety at UMS-Wright Prep and a 2022 Campus Safety Director of the Year finalist. “[On] a regular school day, we have around 1,240 enrolled at our K-12 schools so we saw not only the need for ourselves as faculty members but we might have to use it on a student one day.”
To save the school money during this endeavor, Humphrey took a two-day course that certified him as an American Red Cross instructor. He has since trained all school employees (3:57).
“We didn’t have to hire out for that, and now we can bring that back to our school, modify it to fit within our schedules and when it’s more beneficial for teachers. After-hours or on teacher workdays, we can schedule those things in,” Humphrey said. “We’ve had teachers praise it. They love having the confidence not only knowing that they can make a difference here in the school but out in our community as well.”
Student Involvement in School Safety Initiatives Pays Off
To increase the number of people on campus and within the community who can respond to a medical emergency in those crucial minutes before first responders arrive, Humphrey began offering training to high school-aged students. Around 120 students took him up on the offer (5:00).
The course, titled “Adulting 101,” was a one-week course that covered things unrelated to school safety, like cooking and laundry, in addition to self-defense and American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED usage. One of the training participants, a then-junior, used his training to revive his girlfriend who unknowingly had a heart condition and went into cardiac arrest.
“He was able to revert back to his most basic, fundamental training,” Humphrey described. “[He] extracted her from the vehicle, got on a firm, flat surface, started administering chest compressions, notified 911, and was able to revive her.”
Campus Safety spoke with Humphrey about several other unique initiatives he has led at the prep school, including involving theater students in Stop the Bleed scenario training (7:08).
Humphrey also spearheaded a partnership with a local physician who has five urgent care practices in the area (11:39). With that partnership, he was able to create a UMS-Wright COVID-19 rapid antigen drive-through that was accessible to any student or parent Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Check out our full video interview to hear more on these impressive and creative initiatives.