Brian Tierney of Brian Communications (left) donated a CPR training to kit to John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School on Sept. 10 in support of a statewide effort to add CPR to school curricula. Tierney’s mother, Clare, attended Hallahan. (Photo courtesy of Leland Laury / Brian Communications)

Brian Tierney, CEO of public relations firm Brian Communications, donated a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training kit to John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School during a Sept. 10 presentation.

Developed by the American Heart Association, the kit will help thousands of students learn how to save lives in the event of an emergency, such as a heart attack. In addition to hands-only CPR, the kit teaches students how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) and how to stop someone from choking.

As the school year begins, a new PA Senate Bill signed by Gov. Wolf in June is strengthening academic guidelines throughout the state by adding CPR training to the curriculum.

“Every year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital, and more than 20 percent occur in public places, like schools, where the survival rate depends on the ability of passerby to perform CPR,” said John Arnao, vice president of development for the American Heart Association, speaking at the presentation. “Hands-only CPR can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival, and with the proper education and training, we can significantly increase CPR awareness and cardiac arrest survival rates. Teaching our high school students how to save lives is critical to helping us get there.”

Tierney selected Hallahan since his mother, Claire, had attended the school.

“It always makes me feel so wonderful when I cross the threshold of Hallahan and think about my mother walking along these same hallways,” said Tierney. “Knowing how committed she was to the school and the Catholic community, it is an honor to be able to help.”