Announcements & Best Practices

Russell Thompson Butler & Houston Certified Public Accountants’ Donation to Provide Baker High School Students with Lifesaving CPR Skills

Donation will train students in Hands-Only CPR skills

Thursday, February 16, 2017
8 a.m.
Baker High School
Mobile, AL

Russell Thompson Butler & Houston, LLP, (RTBH) has donated funding to help train the next generation of lifesavers by providing a CPR in Schools Training Kit that will be used to teach hands-only CPR to Baker High School students and their families. The kit will be presented to the faculty and students at Baker High School at 8 a.m. on Thursday, February 16. The donation is even more special because two members of the RTBH team are former Hornets themselves, and by presenting the kits to the Baker faculty and student body, they will be giving back to their alma mater in a very concrete way.  “We could not be more honored to be the link between The American Heart Association and the Baker High School community,” says Shelby Johnson, CPA – Supervisor RTBH.

Shelby Johnson is a 2006 graduate of Baker and is a 2009 graduate of the University of South Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Shelby is a CPA and is a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves our community as an Emerging Leaders Board member for the United Way of Southwest Alabama and is a graduate of the Greater Mobile MS Society Leadership Class of 2015. During her time at Baker, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Diamond Dolls, Key Club, and the cross country team.  She also represented Baker as an Azalea Trail Maid.

Casey Rodden is a 2004 graduate of Baker High School, and is a 2010 graduate from the University of Memphis.  Rodden holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accountancy. He received his CPA accreditation in 2012 and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).  During his time at Baker he was editor of the yearbook, a member of the National Honor Society, and a tennis player. He finished in the top 10 academically in his senior class.

Both Johnson and Rodden studied at Baker during the administration of current Baker principal Clem Richardson.

RTBH’s participation in this program was spearheaded by founding partner Robert Houston, who served as a member of the 2016 Mobile Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team. The firm was a fully engaged partner in last year’s Heart Walk, as they fielded a Heart Walk team and helped to raise critical funds in support of the American Heart Association mission.

The State of Alabama requires all graduating Alabama seniors to receive hands-only CPR instruction. This stipulation represents an unfunded mandate, however. The donation from RTBH will provide Baker High School with resources that can assist in fulfilling the CPR graduation requirement.  “We are thrilled to know that our CPR Training Kit donation will be there in the school in case of an emergency and serve as a teaching tool.  There is no telling how many lives might be saved through teaching hundreds of Baker graduates each year these critical lifesaving skills,” said Casey Rodden, CPA – Senior Accountant, RTBH.

More than 400,000 people suffer out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest each year. The American Heart Association is working to improve this number.  Change starts with helping people feel more confident in their abilities during an emergency situation. The RTBH donation will train thousands in our community with the skills needed to respond.

The CPR in Schools Training Kit is of critical importance for the Mobile community given the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and relative unfamiliarity of members of the general public with basic hands-only CPR. Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone – even young people. It is most often caused by a heart attack, but it can also be caused by trauma, an overdose or drowning. In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating; blood stops circulating; oxygen stops flowing to the brain; and the victim stops breathing. When bystander CPR is immediately performed, a victim’s survival rate can double or even triple. Unfortunately, only 41 percent of people who experience a cardiac arrest at home, work or in public get the immediate help they need before emergency services arrive.

Studies have shown that students are capable of learning and effectively performing CPR. It has also shown that trainees, including students of 12 years or older, can achieve acceptable levels of proficiency in hands-only CPR in 30 minutes or less. By teaching CPR to high school students, we will create a generation of lifesavers. These CPR in Schools Training Kits will teach thousands of high school students the skills that they can use should they find someone in an emergency situation.

The CPR in Schools Training Kit empowers students to learn the core skills of CPR in under 30 minutes, and it teaches AED skills and choking relief. The easy-to-use kit is designed specifically for the needs of school educators. It’s portable, allowing for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. It’s also reusable. The CPR in Schools Training Kit was developed by the American Heart Association and incorporates the very latest science.

The CPR in Schools Training Kit includes everything teachers need to properly educate students: an instructional video, facilitator’s guide, mannequins and a mannequin pump, knee pads, replacement parts and sanitizer.

“Nationally, each hour 38 people experience a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital setting and, tragically nine out of 10 will not survive,” says Christin LeBoeuf, American Heart Association Regional Vice President. “The simple act of CPR can transform health outcomes for our community. We are thankful for the support of Russell Butler Thompson & Houston.”

For more information about the CPR in Schools Training Kits visit


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country.


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