Get Charged Up!

Sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 killer of student athletes and the leading cause of death on school campuses, though most schools are underprepared to respond to a cardiac emergency, in contrast to the ample time and resources invested in fire protection readiness.

Every school must have a fire extinguisher and conduct fire drills, so given the statistics, why isn’t there a national standard for protecting young hearts at school?

In response, an American Heart Association task force developed a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP) toolkit that empowers schools to be prepared for a cardiac emergency. As co-members of this task force, Parent Heart Watch created Get Charged Up! and partnered with SHAPE America to support putting this plan into action.

The goals of the program are to model the importance of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and Cardiac Emergency Response Plans (CERP) in schools to prevent sudden cardiac death, and to familiarize administrators, educators, school nurses, coaches and parents about the role they can plan to champion prevention in their school community.

This year’s program will launch in October. Parent Heart Watch and SHAPE America then work with the selected schools to implement a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan by February, which is also Heart Month. Selected program participants will receive an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for their school. Specific program parameters are in the online application.


The Get Charged Up Program has given our school the tools to help create our Cardiac Emergency Response Team and better understand the procedures of sudden cardiac arrest.

We are thankful to be able to have this AED at our school for students, staff and community members visiting our school.

— Kyle Prior, Health & PE Teacher, Washington Middle School, MT

Washington Middle School, MT
Nickajack Elementary School, GA
AcadeMir Charter School West, FL
Davis School District, UT
Versailles Middle School, MO

In general, applicants must:

  • Be a member of SHAPE America.
  • Represent an elementary, middle, high or combined school in the U.S.
  • Complete an online registration form
  • Confirm school administration is committed to the program
  • Participate in a 30 to 60-minute orientation webinar
  • Establish a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan as per the toolkit provided
  • Form a Cardiac Emergency Response Team that is or becomes CPR/AED certified
  • Use the CERP template to personalize the plan to your school
  • Schedule drills to test school readiness to act on the plan
  • Communicate with your school community about SCA awareness, the new AED and CERP
  • Submit report upon completion of the CERP
  • Share a photo(s) of the program in action (e.g. installing AED, CERP team meeting, CPR training, staff development re: SCA, drill, AED installation)
  • Properly install and maintain the AED as per recommended guidelines (which includes costs to replace battery and pads as directed)

Get more information on Cardiac Emergency Response Plans and AEDs:
SHAPE America
Parent Heart Watch

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