Atlanta, Georgia -- This September, for the second consecutive year, freshman orientation at Emory University in Georgia included an unusual offering: CPR training.
Last year, Emory's student-run Emergency Medical Services trained more than 700 incoming freshmen in the basics of CPR. This year, they reached about 1,100 students. The school hopes to have every one of its 12,000 students trained in basic lifesaving techniques in the next few years.
The hour-long course taught students basic CPR techniques, using dummies donated by the American Heart Association for hands-on practice . Students also learned AED usage techniques and the steps involved in activating an emergency response.
"Our goal is to make Emory the first university to have all of its students trained in the basics of CPR. We want to make the student population realize that they can make a difference too, and can learn the minimum skills to save a person's life," said Alexandra Amaducci, chief of Emory EMS and a senior majoring in neuroscience. "We also want to create awareness that we exist and make students feel comfortable about calling on Emory EMS when they need us."
The EMS squad gets five or six calls each year for people having heart attacks or other cardiac problems on campus, she said.
Health officials and university administrators say having a concentration of students trained in CPR means anyone who has a heart attack while wandering through campus has a greater chance of surviving. Starting CPR just after a heart attack, even before paramedics arrive, can greatly increase the odds of survival.
For more information about CPR, First Aid, and BLS courses offered by Emergency Care Programs, visit http://www.emergencycareny.com/firstaid.html.
For more information on AED training, visit http://www.emergencycareny.com/heartbeat.html.