Suffield Girl Scouts Learn Lifesaving Skills

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Suffield Girl Scouts spent the summer learning CPR and First Aid skills, so they are prepared to help someone in need when an emergency arises.

Photo by Debra Dudack
Addie Sepko, center, practices First Aid skills, instructed by Lt. Joseph Wascholl of the SVAA.

Suffield Girl Scout Troops 10981 and 10964 partnered with the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association (SVAA) to offer three CPR training sessions for scouts in grades 3 through 12 and one First Aid session for scouts in kindergarten through grade 2. SVAA instructors donated their time, expertise and equipment to instruct the scouts. The Amiel and Mary Anne Zak Public Service Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving generously covered the cost of the training, which SVAA offered at a discounted rate.

In all, about seventy scouts, leaders, siblings and friends earned a two-year CPR certification through the American Heart Association. Each CPR session covered hands-only CPR, optional breathing techniques, and use of an automatic external defibrillator.

Erica Boucher, a Girl Scout leader, took the CPR course with her twelve-year-old daughter and more than half of their Cadette troop. “I was a bit nervous about the girls’ reactions to this serious topic, but they rose to the challenge,” said Boucher. “They were determined to get it right, and they had fun. I feel confident that they would be able to step up when presented with a situation to save a life.”

Photo by Debra Dudack
Girl Scout leader Erica Boucher, left, and her daughter, Annalise, practice CPR in a training program jointly sponsored by two Girl Scout troops and the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association.

During the First Aid session, younger scouts learned how to safely step in to help, how to bandage a wound, how to set a splint, and how to safely remove gloves. They also put together travel sized First Aid kits to take home. Boucher’s five-year-old daughter, a Daisy scout, took the course. “She just plain had fun at the First Aid class. Days after, she proudly carried around the First Aid kit they assembled,” said Boucher. “Going forward, I believe she would have no, or less, fear in any situation involving emergency services.”

To wrap up each session, instructors took the participants on a tour of the ambulance building and let them check out the inside of an ambulance.

“These courses were a big win for Suffield Girl Scouts and the community at-large,” said Boucher.

In addition to the courses, Girl Scout Troops 10981 and 10964 also plan to donate additional First Aid kits to families in need.

An emergency can strike at any time. The time between when that happens and when professional help arrives is critical. Through this training, Suffield Girl Scouts can now feel confident stepping in to help.

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