By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca Unified adds AED units
Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher and Coordinator of Health Services Leslie Agostini are shown with AED units.

The safest place to go into cardiac arrest outside of medical facilities in Manteca, Lathrop or Stockton’s Weston Ranch neighborhood may be at a Manteca Unified campus.

Manteca Unified has expanded on a new state mandate requiring the placement of one automated external defibrillators (AED) used to restart hearts at any campus that has an interscholastic sports program. For MUSD, based on state law, that would mean one AED at each high school and no more.

MUSD instead has placed three AEDs at strategic locations at Sierra, Manteca, East Union, and Weston Ranch high schools. There is also one at every elementary school that has a gym or a multipurpose room. The goal is to have an AED at every campus.

So far 31 AED units with accessories have been placed at a cost of $1,400 apiece. 

“We followed AB 2009 closely and immediately pulled together a team to address the mandate,” Assistant Superintendent Roger Goatcher said. “We developed a comprehensive Cardiac Emergency Response Plan, met with stakeholders, and trained key personnel to be prepared in the event an AED is needed to render emergency services within the recommended 3-5 minutes of sudden cardiac arrest to our students and/or visitors. Response is critical in these moments and we feel confident we have taken the steps to be prepared.”

It is the latest example of the school district going beyond basic requirements for student safety.

All 9th grade students district wide are instructed in Hands-Only CPR during physical education classes. Since the endeavor started in November 2012 there have been 12,859 students taught Hands Only CPR. 

Students get to experience chest compressions on a manikin. They are made to understand the importance of quickly starting Hands-Only CPR to assist until help arrives.  Paramedics, firefighters, teachers and BE.Tech students assist the freshmen during the manikin chest compression portion.   

The district in partnership with the Manteca District Ambulance is rolling out a new student campaign drubbed “hands2heart”.

 “The more we get the information out there the more saves we will get in the field,” noted MDA supervisor Katrina Garcia. “MDA created this program, so the community can show their support by posting a picture of them doing the universal hands only sign (one hand on top of the other, ready for compressions) in social media platforms.  This campaign will bring awareness to the community and stresses the importance of Hands Only CPR.  If we all learn as a community, we can help each other in an event of cardiac arrest, and we can save each other.  Our goal is to bring resuscitation rates up in our community. #Hands2_Heart .”

In connection with state AED mandate Manteca Unified has developed a Cardiac Emergency Response Plan (CERP). They have met with employee unions to explain the plan and how much impact it would have on union members. All high school sites have developed their Cardiac Emergency Response Team (CERT). There was a class conducted last month to provide CPR certification making high school CERT teams the priority.  A class was also conducted to develop more trainers for CPR classes.

Manteca Unified has contacted Manteca and Lathrop emergency dispatch centers to notify them of AEDs on school sites.

Custodial staff has been trained on maintenance of AEDs and documentation using the company app.

During the past five years there have had two cardiac arrests at campus. One was involving a student at Manteca High and the other at East Union High involving a staff member.

MUSD Community Outreach Coordinator Victoria Brunn noted the program was developed with the safety in mind of students and staff as well as visitors who come onto campuses.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email