TISA Talks

Stayin' Alive at the TYFC


Imagine this: you're at the pool watching your 2-year-old cousin while your mom gets food. Your cousin falls into the deep end of the pool. What do you do?

Well, for starters, you could stop imagining, but if this is reality, you might have to do CPR. CPR can be a lifesaving but difficult task. If you are to do it, you may want someone to help you. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) helps pump blood and oxygen to the brain when the heart stops pumping in what is called a cardiac arrest. Keep doing CPR until a definite solution is found.

You may ask: Why learn CPR? This kind of event has never happened to me.

Well, that may be true but this kind of thing actually happens more than you may think. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the United States alone.

You should at least know a basic idea of how to do CPR because almost 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrests die. If you see someone who may be in need of CPR, do CPR immediately and get help.

That's where the Taos Youth and Family Center comes in to save the day. Not only does it offer free swimming lessons to all Taos County schools, but now it also teach CPR as part of the school swimming program.

When asked why this was important for him to teach, coach Alfredo Aleman replied without hesitation, "I think it is an important skill that all kids should learn so that they might be able to save a life one day."

Right now the kids in the schools are learning chest compression-only CPR through Project Heart Start. The program consists of many schools, including TISA, Taos Charter School and Taos International. Aleman hopes that other schools will jump on this idea too as it is entirely free.

In between learning to swim and mastering strokes, the students work out of the water doing chest compressions. They worked in groups of two on practice dummies to the beat of "Stayin' Alive." Yup, that classic disco song happens to be the perfect beat to keep a heart pumping. Students soon realized just how tiring it is to do CPR. When the CPR is done correctly, the dummy makes a "click" sound and the next student takes over.