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Denver students learn life-saving skills

Teens from Denver Academy of Torah learn basic first aid and first responder skills to potentially save lives.

DENVER — The students at Denver Academy of Torah are learning basic first aid and first responder techniques to potentially save lives. Certified EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) taught students some first-aid skills in the event of an emergency. The course was organized by the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, or NCSY. The group’s mission is to empower Jewish teens to make a difference. Rabbi Yonatan Nuszen is the Denver program director for NCSY and said getting students prepared is important after the shooting at Denver’s East High School earlier this week.

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of hatred in this world whether its antisemitism or something that we’ve seen at another high school very recently,” Nuszen said. “So, to train and arm these kids with the information of what to do gives them the confidence in knowing that they cannot only make a difference, but they can be the difference in order to save someone’s life.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Rabbi Yonatan Nuszen is the Denver program director for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth or NCSY.

About 80 students at the academy learned basic life-saving skills like the Heimlich maneuver and CPR. Nuszen said the goal is to empower students in life-threatening situations.

Credit: Byron Reed

 “When we see things happening in the world like the unfortunate circumstance that happened the other day at a local school, it’s very important for people to empower these teens,” Nuszen said. “Giving them the ability to know how to respond in a healthy way is giving them the confidence and to stand strong and to make that difference to a person that really needs it.”

The program is giving first-hand lessons on how to react to emergency situations to students like 6th grader Avrah Golonbek, who’s learning more about being prepared.

Credit: Byron Reed
Denver Academy of Torah 6th grader Avrah Golenbek (left) gets a CPR lesson from certified EMT Noah Meimoun.

“You never know when it’s going to happen, and I think it’s important,” Golonbek said. “If there was a situation, you’d be able to address it.”

Tenth grader Hunter Frank said its important for teens around her age to learn these techniques to make a difference. She has friends who attend East High School, and she said the news of another shooting broke her heart.

“It can just happen in random moments,” Frank said. “But to know that in terrible situations there’s also people who are able to help or deescalate the situation is really reassuring.”

Credit: Byron Reed

The event also unveiled an ambulance that was donated and will be sent to Israel as a needed emergency supply by Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent of the American Red Cross. Magen David Adom, which translates to "Red Shield," is Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service.

“It’s going to be sent to Israel into a specific community so that it could be a first responder in saving people’s lives,” said Nuszen.

The hope is that these students will never have to use what they learned, but Nuszen said he wants these students to be prepared just in case.

Credit: Byron Reed

“It’s very important for students to have these skills,” Nuszen said. “(And) it’s very important for people to empower these teens on knowing what to do in a horrific situation.”

For more information about NCSY, click here.

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