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College aims to make campus safer through AED program

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (April 10, 2009) - SUNY Plattsburgh has been working on another initiative to make the campus safer. The Automated External Defibrillators program trains students, faculty and staff in how to use the devices and how to perform CPR.

Cory Crahan, program coordinator, was hired after a 2005 New York state bill required that there be at least one AED in all state buildings. This includes all buildings on SUNY campuses. The bill also requires that at least two people per building be trained to use an AED. By the close of the installation process, the campus will need to have about 240 trained rescuers.

The AED is a computerized medical device. It can check a person's heart rhythm and recognize a rhythm that requires a shock. It can also advise the rescuer when a shock is needed. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to tell the rescuer the steps to take.

Crahan cited the importance of the program as obvious.

"It saves lives," he said.

One of his goals for the program is to get people who "roam around" campus, maintenance workers and SUNY grounds people, to get involved to increase the program's effectiveness.

The two-hour class certifies participants as SUNY lifesavers which includes training in adult, child and infant CPR, adult and child AED and adult choking.

Faculty and staff who are listed as active responders receive an automatic e-mail refresher every three to six months. The interactive quiz asks a series of questions about how CPR is performed and the proper use of an AED. This refresher helps to keep responders ready.

The next CPR training courses, open to faculty, staff and students will be held on April 22 at 9 a.m., April 27 at 12:30 p.m., and April 30 at 9 a.m. The only requirement is that attendees' names be added to the trained responder list for the campus.

To schedule a CPR class, contact AED Program Coordinator Cory Crahan at [email protected] or 518-564-7968.

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