On Nov. 1, the College and Allina Health Care co-sponsored a No Fear CPR event in Lund Athletic Center. The event kicked off at 12:15 p.m. with a Heart Safe Community presentation. Training in Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage and bystander CPR took place in three different half hour sessions throughout the afternoon. In each session, students were split into groups to watch a short clip on CPR. It showed how to do chest compressions to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.” Each person received their own dummy and practiced the compressions themselves.
Many students said that after the training they felt more confident about helping.
“I wouldn’t have known the steps for CPR I was supposed to do to help…before I would have just called 911 and sat there with the person,” participant Junior Dane Knudsen said.
There was a turnout of over 200 students. According to Joe Thayer, who helped organize the event, 200 students was a very good turn out because an estimated half the student body is already trained in some way. Many students have learned CPR through EMR classes, high school graduation requirements, lifeguarding or camp counseling.
The goal of this event was to lay down a plan for communities to become Heart Safe. Gustavus ranks sixth in the nation as a Heart Safe community. It also ranks first in the Midwest; this honor was presented by President Ohle at the event. This recognition of being ranked first in the entire Midwest, and the first college to be deemed a Heart Safe community was a culmination of hard work, but it certainly paid off. In the next year, Gustavus hopes to train 1,000 students. Training is looked at being added as a part of First-Year orientation and nursing major requirements. As for the actual No Fear CPR event, it may be hosted once a year.
The importance of this event was to give people the training they need to help others in the event of an emeregency. Cardiac arrest is the number one killer in the United States, killing over 400,000 people per year. This event and others like it give people a skill to save another’s life. The overwhelming thought coming out of the event was “now I would feel comfortable doing something,” Thayer said.
It was proven that a sixth grader working an AED device tested just 23 seconds slower than a trained Emergency Medical Technician. When you open up an AED, there is a sensor that knows what’s going on. It walks you through all of the steps for the device as well as CPR. There are thirteen AEDs located on campus. Some of the most commonly located ones are outside the Evelyn Young Dining Room, by the Bookmark, in the Chapel and by the information desk in Lund Athletic Center.
Many Gustavus organizations helped to support or co-sponsor the CPR event. Joe Thayer would like to send a big thank you to Health Services, Residential Life, Dean of Students, Campus Safety, Athletic Trainers, Student Senate, Nursing and everyone else who helped in some way to make the event, not only possible, but a huge success.
“I was impressed that so many people from the GAC community would take time out to volunteer and be trained. There was a spirit of genuine concern and working together,” volunteer Barabra Bjelland said.