American Heart Association helps implement Wyoming’s first Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) at Arapahoe School

ARAPAHOE, Wyo., June 28, 2023 — Roughly one-third of Wyoming residents live in a rural area and face unique health challenges, including access to care and longer response times for emergency services. In the tiny town of Arapahoe, located in the southeastern part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, the minimum response time for can exceed 20 minutes.

The American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is pleased to announce that Arapahoe School recently adopted a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan, or CERP, to help eliminate disparities in calling 911 and to provide life-saving CPR and AED training to all teachers and staff.

This community-driven program is designed to enhance and sustain healthy neighborhoods, strengthen family’s communication on heart health and increase the safety and cardiac response times among faculty, staff, student, and community members. CPR, when performed immediately and effectively, can double or triple the chance of survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The CERP, which went into effect June 1, includes forming a community-driven cardiac emergency response team, holding regularly scheduled practice drills and an annual review of the plan. Input for the plan came from the local hospital and clinic, first responders and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, each of which will participate in all training and drills.

Arapahoe School’s 445 students K-12 plus 96 teachers and staff make up roughly one-third of the town’s population.

“Developing this CERP for a rural school ensures that both staff and students have the knowledge and training to save a life,” said Heather Castro, who ushered in the program as nurse for Arapahoe School. “This ensures that members of this community will receive the care they may need until extra support arrives.”

“The American Heart Association is grateful for the collaboration with both the state of Wyoming and Arapahoe School to set an example for ensuring their community is prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies,” said Sam Gardner, state director for the American Heart Association-Wyoming.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook or Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA.  

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