Hands on CPR training doll

Tucson Electric Power is helping to save lives by donating CPR kits and training to local high schools.

Through a partnership with the American Heart Association, TEP provided funding for eight kits and education support, enough to train 5,000 students to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

Schools in the Sunnyside and Amphitheater Unified School Districts received TEP’s donations earlier this year.

“That’s 5,000 people that TEP is training to save lives with this donation,” said Betsy Stuetze, Executive Director of the association’s Southern Arizona Division. “TEP has been a community leader in education for years. It really was a natural fit for them to align with the schools to teach this piece of life-saving education to our students.”

CPR is an emergency procedure to be performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest, according to the association.

The local chapter has worked with organizations and businesses, including TEP, to help Southern Arizona public schools comply with a new state law that will require public high schools to provide students with CPR instruction. Senate Bill 1137, which passed in 2016, will go into effect during the 2019-20 school year as a graduation requirement.

“We knew the schools would need assistance acquiring those teaching resources,” said Wendy Erica Werden, Manager of TEP Community Investment and Philanthropy. “We want to support our students and our teachers in the best way possible and this was a great partnership.”

Betsy said the association has received enough donations to cover those costs.

“We wanted to work really hard so that the districts didn’t have to come up with money out of their own pockets for this,” Stuetze said. “We are so grateful for our supporters, like TEP.”