LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – For a large part of the day a parent can’t have their eye on their child’s behavior or safety. That responsibility is in the hands of teachers and staff.

Jacquelin Mceuen, LRSD Health Services Director says, “it’s extremely important for our staff and student and anyone who comes onto our campuses to know they are walking into a cardiac-safe school.”

The little rock school district is on a mission to get all of its schools “Project Adam certified.”

Project Adam began in 1999 in Whitefish Bay Wisconsin when 17-year-old Adam Lemel collapsed while playing a basketball game, suffering from cardiac arrest.

According to, an automated external defibrillator, or AED, could have saved his life. 

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating, and it’s proven that using an AED within minutes of cardiac arrest can dramatically improve survival rates.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital, MEMS and the Little Rock Fire Department are partnering with LRSD to make sure there are multiple CPR and AED-certified employees through Project Adam.

“The school nurses sometimes are the only medical professional on campus. It’s all kind of relying on one person. So, building a team is what we call a force multiplier,” Charles Wooley with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Heart Institute said.

According to LRSD, the first school in the state to pilot Project Adam is Don Roberts Elementary.

“When I can see that 20 plus staff members in our building know exactly what to do in a quick and efficient way to meet the needs of a student that has an emergency, a staff member, or a community member that’s coming to visit on campus, you can put a price tag on that,” said Steven Helmick, Principal of Don Roberts Elementary. 

LRSD says they will have 100 percent of their schools CRP and AED certified by May.