First Aid: Saving Lives at AMHS


(Photo taken PRE-PANDEMIC)

Terry Holman, Student Life Editor

There are a lot of great classes offered at AMHS, but only one of them will actually give you the skills to save a person’s life.
In First Aid, taught by our famous assistant boys soccer coach, Mr. Gannon, students are presented with the opportunity to gain a CPR certification from the American Red Cross. This certification is valid for two years, however, the skills will remain with students for a lifetime, possibly saving lives when it matters most. Many students have taken this course and hundreds of students have been certified. Dennis Cisneros, a 2017 graduate said, “Taking the first aid course at Amityville gave me the skills I needed to help save a man at a restaurant I worked at.” Some students are also taking the course for their future careers. As Kiara Greene, another student said, “I am taking the course to get myself prepared for a career as a registered nurse.” After an online interview with Mr. Gannon, here is the Q&A:

Q: How long have you been teaching this course?
A: I have been teaching First Aid here at AMHS since the 2015-2016 school year.

Q: Who sponsors this course?
A: The course is sponsored by The American Red Cross and I am an instructor for the Red Cross.

Q: Why was this course implemented into Amityville’s course catalog?
A: We implemented this course because we found it beneficial for students to leave the high school with something valuable like a certification in first aid and CPR that they can use at a job or put onto their resume/application for colleges. There is also the real life element of it, where everyone should really know the basics of what to do in responding to an emergency, whether it is a first aid for choking moment or someone in cardiac arrest or a blood injury.

Q: How many students have you certified?
A: I have certified over 500 students here at AMHS.

Q: What is covered in this class?
A: We cover all first aid topics imaginable as well as doing a full unit on pet first aid, wilderness survival and cross over several other health topics including drug and alcohol awareness, human sexuality, how to deliver a baby, etc.

Q: Why should students take this course?
A: The class is valuable in learning life skills in saving and treating others. Students can also teach back these skills to their families. Having a certification from the American Red Cross can be an asset for a student to possess as well as a life saving moment if these skills are utilized in responding to an emergency.

Special thanks to Coach Gannon for sharing some of his time with us!