SNYDER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Students spend the majority of their time in school, so keeping them safe is a top priority. From fire, weather, and lockdown drills, these tests help schools be prepared in an emergency.

Snyder Primary School is taking an extra step when it comes to school safety by training some of its staff to be CPR and AED certified. In an effort to bring awareness to sudden cardiac arrest in young people, Nurse Leslie Garza said she learned about Project Adam from a doctor. A program designed to educate schools in establishing a plan to respond to sudden cardiac arrest.

“So, project Adam is a program that helps schools develop a team to use AED and perform CPR if needed if they come across an unresponsive person,” Garza explained.

Garza said although its uncommon, sudden cardiac arrest can happen with young people under the age of 18.

“Sports is a big factor that can cause sudden cardiac awareness. A lot of times there are no signs or symptoms that present prior to it happening, so it is very, its rare, but it’s very likely that it could happen to a student,” shared Garza.

Snyder Primary School is now designated a heart safe school, but there were some steps to take to receive that designation.

“We had to compose a team of CPR certified staff members who can respond in emergency situations in case sudden cardiac arrest happens. We also have to have AED’s around the school and we also have to have an emergency cardiac arrest response plan,” added Garza.

Canita Rhodes said she has been a principal for 13 years. To her, improving safety practices is key. 26 staff members including herself are CPR certified to jump in an emergency, but ten are part of a team that routinely practices CPR and AED drills.

“You are going to get really tired if you’re having to do CPR before we get the AED hooked up, so we have things in place to switch people out,” said Rhodes.

For Rhodes, you can never be too prepared when it comes to safety.

“Your kids are safe here, the staff is safe here and we are here if something happens, we’re prepared for it,” shared Rhodes.

Rhodes said the designation is an honor and its a great way to bring awareness to sudden cardiac arrest. The Snyder Primary School is the only campus that is heart safe, but there are 17 AED’s across the district. Rhodes and Garza are hoping to have all campuses in Snyder ISD to be ‘Project Adam Heart Safe Schools’ by the end of the year.