The Emergency Preparedness Workshops Program is designed to equip high school students and staff with the emergency response skills needed to potentially save lives in our South and West Side Chicago communities, where residents experience health disparities that lead to a higher rate of strokes, cardiac arrests, and gun violence. We focus on training 7th to 12th grade students to recognize and respond to common life-threatening medical emergencies, in which delays in receiving medical attention could prove fatal. This program is facilitated by Black and Latinx physicians, nurses, medical students and EMTs/paramedics, which helps youth envision themselves pursuing careers in the medical field.
Participants will learn the critical symptoms of stroke, cardiac arrest, and life-threatening bleeding, and demonstrate that they know when to call for medical assistance and how to render first responder medical aid (CPR, defibrillator use, gunshot/stab wound packing, and tourniquet application) in each respective instance. Each 60- to 90-minute workshop includes training on recognizing stroke, hands only CPR, and Stop The Bleed.
Residents of Chicago's South Side communities have experienced staggering health disparities for decades compared with North Siders. Due to a lack of access to health care providers, the Southside Chicago community experiences health disparities that lead to a higher rate of strokes and heart attacks. In addition, our community is plagued by gun violence, which has a major impact on community health.
Residents of poor neighborhoods that are plagued by violence experience higher rates of chronic diseases, which can be caused by the body’s stress response. When the adrenal glands release cortisol, the cortisol floods the bloodstream with glucose, increases the heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This physiological reaction to stress can lead to chronic diseases and premature aging. Further compounding the problem, low income, predominantly black communities have lower rates of CPR training, lower bystander involvement in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, and significantly lower rates of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. Thus, our communities will greatly benefit from our Emergency Preparedness Workshops Program.