Several Hamilton County schools are preparing teachers and staff to respond to medical emergencies through a partnership with Parkridge Medical Center.

Parkridge is providing Code Blue classes for schools led by emergency medicine providers.

Teachers and staff members from Snow Hill Elementary are finishing up their holiday break in a different kind of classroom.

The instructors from Parkridge Medical Center are covering responses to stroke, heart attack, choking, and other medical emergencies that could occur at school or in the community.

Parkridge emergency room nurse Tammie Crowder said, "In Hamilton County schools they have a plan for fire, evacuation, tornadoes, but not a medical emergency plan. It's up to each school."

In a county with more than 75 school campuses, there isn't enough funding to provide a trained medic at each school. Although this week's training is limited to a handful of schools, it's the beginning of a partnership between Parkridge and Hamilton County schools that can make a difference.

Snow Hill principal Phil Iannarone said, "Any medical emergency can occur.  We have children eating breakfast and lunch, and a child could choke, or anybody for that matter."

The class isn't designed to make anyone a medical expert, but it can make all school personnel better equipped to administer CPR, how to respond when an adult, child or infant is choking, how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and how to identify the signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack. they learn as a school community, united.

Crowder said, "It really bonds them. One school nurse said it gives her more confidence that others in the building can respond to an emergency. Now they don't feel like they're on an island, they are part of a team."

Parkridge's Code Blue instructors are working this week with teachers and staff members from Lookout Mountain Elementary, Allen Elementary, and Bess T. Shepherd Elementary, as well as Snow Hill Elementary.