Clay County School District coaches training to become CPR certified

Coaches with the Clay County School District are getting some hands-on training this summer to help save lives

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Coaches with the Clay County School District are getting some hands-on training this summer to help save lives. More than 20 coaches showed up at Fleming Island High School on Tuesday morning for their training CPR session.

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The goal is for each one to become certified. The Zachary Martin Act (House Bill 7011) requires a CPR certified school employee or volunteer to be at every school athletic event, during or after the school year.

“I’m really excited that we’re providing this training free of charge to all of our coaches, not just head coaches, any coach that’s around student athletes will be trained,” said John Sgromolo, Coordinator of District Athletics for the Clay County School District. “It’s really providing the safest environment for all of our kids,” he added.

Ashley Houston, a softball coach at Middleburg High School, has seen CPR save a student athlete’s life. ”It was at a football practice and the kid was involved in a tackle that went wrong, and eventually found out that the kid broke his neck and immediately stopped breathing, and they had to immediately perform CPR,” she recalled.

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Though she’s worked in the medical field, she feels better knowing her fellow coaches are ready to act in the playing fields, too. ”When we might be walking away from practice for a little bit, and knowing that you can feel safe no matter who’s there with your children, I think it’s very valuable,” she said. ”We’re prepared and we’re ready,” Houston emphasized.

And with a new law requiring 9th and 11th graders to receive CPR training (HB 157), the district is now looking at how to incorporate this training within its PE Department.

”It’s really cool to see the athletics work with the education side,” Sgromolo said.