Student Trains Her Teachers in CPR

Teen takes on project to teach lifesaving technique at every school in the district


UPDATE: Madison Cianciolo has been chosen as the Huffington Post's Greatest Person of the Day, which features stories of people across the nation who are confronting major issues and making a difference in their community. Congratulations, Madison!

Madison Cianciolo was in math class at Strongsville High School last year when another student suffered a seizure.

The teacher tried to help, but wasn't sure what to do.

Madison was. She's been an Explorer with the Hinckley Fire Department for three years, and has taken a lot of first aid classes.

But the distraught teacher ordered her out of the classroom.

"I was really bothered by that," said Madison, now 16 and a junior at SHS. "I started thinking, 'what can I do about it.'"

She asked some questions and ultimately got in touch with Strongsville Fire Lt. AJ Aljabi, who listened to Madison's request -- to train every teacher in the Strongsville schools in CPR and basic first aid -- and said he'd try to help.

But he warned her it would be tough -- it would take a lot of organizing, and teachers would have to volunteer to take the training on their own time.

"I figured I'd never hear from her again," Aljabi said.

He was wrong. "She called back earlier this year and said, 'I have a school ready,'" Aljabi said.

That was Muraski Elementary. In October, a second school -- Albion Middle School -- was invited to Fire Station No. 4 for training.

Ten teachers and principal Dave Riley spent several hours learning CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator.

Madison's next goals are to get AED units into every school in the district and to continue the training, hoping to tackle Strongsville High School next.

Aljabi doesn't doubt her any more.

"She's very motiviated," he said. "Whatever she puts her mind to, she gets done."


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