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Carleton to Offer Mass CPR/AED Training to 693 Students

August 28, 2012

Next week, Carleton College will welcome 531 members of the Class of 2016. Each year, New Student Week at the College includes a variety of activities designed to familiarize incoming freshmen with the campus and with each other. But this year’s New Student Week will feature a unique opportunity—hands-on training for CPR and AED, providing all students with the tools necessary to respond to heart-related medical emergencies. On Wednesday, September 5 from 11 a.m. until noon in the Carleton Recreation Center, the College plans to train the 531 incoming freshmen (along with over another hundred students, Hall Directors, and Resident Assistants) for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and on the use of automated external defibrillators, or AEDs.

The mass training of 693 people is part of an ambitious goal to have the entire Carleton campus community trained in CPR and AED within the next four years. This important and innovative initiative is possible thanks to a $9,000 grant awarded to the Northfield Hospital and Carleton College from the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium, a project of the University of Minnesota and Medtronic. The grant helps to underwrite the training at Carleton and to fund the purchase of CPR mannequins.

“Our goal is to create a sustainable training program, where we can train each incoming class on the use of CPR and AEDs,” says Elisabeth Haase, Manager of Environmental Health and Safety Compliance at Carleton. “Through contacts we’ve made in the past year throughout the state, we have enough people and equipment committed to the event to support this mass-training session.”

“By attending the CPR and AED training, participants will learn to provide the necessary tools to respond efficiently and appropriately when faced with a heart-related medical emergency on campus,” adds Haase.

The September 5 training event will also feature appearances by two survivors of heart-related emergencies, who will speak about their experience and how the use of CPR and AED systems helped to save their lives.

Carleton College has 16 AED systems installed at various locations around campus. An automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses potentially life threatening cardiac arrthythmias in a patient and is able to treat people with defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be used by anyone. While training is not required, familiarity with an AED can provide the confidence needed to respond accordingly in a medical emergency.

The training is being provided in collaboration with Northfield Hospital and members of EMS Explorer Post 3300, which serves Northfield and the surrounding communities. EMS Explorer Post 3300 is the local branch of EMS Exploring, a hands-on, career-exploring experience for young people between the ages of 14-20 organized through the Exploring program, a division of the Boy Scouts of America. EMS, Emergency Medical Services, is the medical emergency services provided by first responders, EMTs and paramedics. The program is designed to allow post members to learn about EMS, get hands-on experience with emergency medical care, provide opportunities to develop leadership and to allow for education pertaining to emergency medicine with the guidance of trained advisors. To learn more about the Northfield EMS Explorer Post 3300, visit: www.emspost3300.blogspot.com.

This mass training at Carleton College is made possible through the efforts of the Carleton Safety Committee and is being coordinated by Elisabeth Haase, Manager of Environmental Health and Safety Compliance, and Mikki Showers, Director of Recreational Sports and Recreation Center Manager, along with guidance and participation from the EMS Explorer Post 3300, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Northfield Hospital and Clinics, the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium, the University of Minnesota Heart Rescue Project, Dakota County Heart Restart, and Take Heart Minnesota. For more information, contact Elisabeth Haase at (507) 222-4146.