BMCC is the only CUNY college that offers CPR and First aid training to faculty, students and staff.
Recently, more than 50 safety volunteers from the BMCC community were honored at a luncheon in Richard Harris Terrace, where they received certificates for completing their safety training in three categories: CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and First aid, Fire warden, and Campus CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).
BMCC’s Public Safety officers are all certified in CPR and First aid, meeting the requirements set forth by the National Safety Council. The safety officers who are specially trained to teach others facilitate the training sessions—generally held on-campus for an intense two days; a few times per semester—for the BMCC community.
Those who complete CPR, AED, and First aid training meet the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements and learn life-saving procedures. Fire wardens ensure that everyone leaves the area as quickly and orderly as possible, when an evacuation signal is heard. They assist in evacuating disabled persons to staging areas and directing building occupants to an assigned location outside the building.
Strength in numbers
One campus department, BMCC’s Early Childhood Center, stood out at the awards luncheon. This is because every staffer who works at the Center is required to receive First aid and CPR training, and get recertified every two years.
A staffer in the Early Childhood Center, Viodelka Moreira, known as “Miss V” to the children she works with, once had an incident—not too serious, thankfully—where she witnessed a child choking on a grape.
“I ran over and gave him a little tap from behind,” she explained, demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver, which she learned from her CPR and First aid training, “and, luckily, he was fine. But it’s so important to be prepared in an emergency, and in a job like mine, parents put their children in your hands, and you just never know.”
Moreira, who just updated her CPR and First aid training, thinks “everyone should be trained in CPR and First-Aid, even if they don’t work with children.”
According to the National Safety Council, 25% of emergency room visits could be avoided if people knew basic First aid and CPR. CPR started by a bystander doubles the likelihood of survival for victims of cardiac arrest.
Three to five minutes
According to Edwin Moss, BMCC’s Director of Public Safety who distributed the awards at the luncheon, EMS does “an excellent job” when it comes to emergency responses, but the response time could take anywhere from three to five minutes.
“That’s why it’s good for the community, and for your own families, to be trained in an emergency situation,” he explained. “But hopefully, this is a training you’ll never have to use.”
BMCC’s President Antonio Pérez stopped by the event to offer his support to the emergency volunteers. “It’s really important to have staffers and students at BMCC who can help others in a time of crisis,” he said. “It also enhances our sense of community at the college; to have those who are willing to make that investment to be trained in life-saving techniques.”
He also thanked the volunteers for “putting the welfare of the college and students in your hands.”