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LAKELAND, Fla. – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to train several hundred high school and youth coaches to be certified in life-saving automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, beginning Saturday, April 24, and continuing through June 12.

“This is much-needed, long-awaited training. Our parents need to know that if something happens, we have people properly trained to address the situation. It’s important they know their student-athletes are in good hands,” said Dan Talbot, Senior Athletics Coordinator for Polk County Public Schools. “For Lakeland Regional Health to step in and help us meet the requirements of the new state law is truly amazing. We’re so appreciative that we have people in our community we can partner with for this common goal: the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.”

This training is free and open to public, private and charter school coaches. The classes are taking place at schools throughout Polk County.

This training is part of the Zachary Martin Act signed into law last year. Beginning June 1, those coaching in the Florida High School Athletic Association must be CPR and AED certified.

The bill requires, beginning June 1, 2021, a school employee or volunteer with current training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED use to be present at each athletic event during and outside of the school year. Each employee or volunteer expected to use an AED must complete this training and be annually notified in writing of each AED’s location.

Lakeland Regional Health’s clinical nursing team members are leading each session. Certification is good through 2023.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Polk County Public Schools to offer this life-saving training, as we know time is of the essence in individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest,” said Patrick Phillips, Lakeland Regional Health Senior Vice President of Business Development/Chief Strategy Officer. “At Lakeland Regional Health, we are committed to reaching beyond the walls of our Medical Center to strengthen the health of our community.”

Media coverage is welcome at these events, with prior notification to

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status five times since 2013 and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.

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