Wake Forest Baptist partners with schools to give coaches free CPR, AED training

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- It’s a life skill we all should have, but one we hope we never have to use.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will provide free CPR and AED training to coaches of all sports at Winston-Salem/Forsyth County’s high schools.

“The quicker an individual who is having a cardiac event can receive CPR, the greater the likelihood of survival. That’s what we’re trying to assist in is making sure that the coaches around these kids at their practices and at their games can be there to provide that,” said Dr. Heath Thornton, medical director for the collaborative athletic training program.

There’s a new emphasis being placed on CPR and AED certification across the state.

“It’s a new rule this year with the North Carolina Athletic Association that all paid coaches get CPR and AED certified,” said Sean Vestal, athletic director and boys basketball head coach at North Forsyth High School.

Wake Forest Baptist already provides an athletic trainer to work at the high schools.

However, this training will also ensure that multiple people on the team can assist someone should there be a medical emergency.

“There are instances where I am up in the athletic training room doing rehabs and cross country is out running the track or running in the trail, and I might not get down there in the amount time,” said Kyndle Moore, North Forsyth head athletic trainer.

It’s estimated that around 500 to 600 coaches will receive this free training.

The first session is scheduled for Saturday May 6 at the Wake Forest Baptist Sports Medicine D1 Training Facility.

Coaches have to receive training by Aug. 1 in order to meet the North Carolina Athletic Association’s new guidelines.