Pinecrest Academy recently became the first private school in Forsyth County to earn a safe heart certification from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
According to a news release from the school in south Forsyth, it achieved Project S.A.V.E. certification after meeting a number of requirements.
S.A.V.E. is short for Sudden Cardiac Death: Awareness, Vision for Prevention and Education.
Among the requirements were placement of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, throughout campus and CPR and AED training for staff and certified instructors.
Other requirements included having a designated emergency response team and annual practice drills to test the school's emergency plan.
In addition, every student athlete must complete a pre-participation physical form.
Pinecrest spokeswoman Vivian Heard noted in a statement that "not all schools meet the stringent criteria."
"As a team, the Pinecrest clinical staff of Mary Culp, Bonnie Owensby and Missy Collins went above and beyond what is required for the certificate to ensure that the school is prepared for all emergencies," Heard said.
Meagan Potts, a spokeswoman for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said in a statement that schools with the certification receive regular updates about AED funding and laws, research, recalls and training.
They also receive a prevention manual and DVD for staff training.
There are about 750 certified schools throughout Georgia.
They contribute to statewide and national research on prevention of sudden cardiac death by sending confidential incident reports to Project S.A.V.E. staff whenever an AED is used.
Project S.A.V.E. also replaces or reimburses the cost of replacement electrode pads for the machines.
Schools interested in earning the certification can apply for training grants to assist with that portion of the program.
Besides Pinecrest, many public schools in the county also have the certification.
They include: Big Creek, Chattahoochee, Chestatee, Coal Mountain, Cumming, Daves Creek, Mashburn, Matt, Midway, Sawnee, Settles Bridge, Sharon, Shiloh Point, Silver City and Vickery Creek elementary schools; Liberty, North
Forsyth, Otwell, Riverwatch, South Forsyth and Vickery Creek middle schools; and Forsyth Central, North Forsyth and South Forsyth high schools.