New York City

FDNY to train 5,000 NYC teens in new CPR technique

December 9, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The FDNY Foundation is training 5,000 city teens how to use a new, compressions-only CPR technique. Photo courtesy of FDNY

A high school student is standing in line at the store and suddenly the customer in front of him or her has a heart attack and collapses. What happens then?

If the student is one of 5,000 New York City teens being trained by FDNY in a new, compression-only CPR technique, the odds of that customer surviving have just doubled.

On Tuesday, First Deputy Fire Commissioner Robert R. Turner II launched the new training program, a joint initiative with the city’s Department of Education (DOE).

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“The important lessons you learn at a young age are often the ones you carry with you throughout your life – and we want CPR to be one of those critical lessons,” Turner said in a statement. “Through this life-saving educational program we’re launching today, we hope to not only empower so many more young New Yorkers with life-saving skills but to show them how rewarding a lifetime of helping others can be.”

“This new initiative is a great boost for the safety of our students and city, as well as an excellent opportunity for our students to learn important life skills,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said.

Many people, even those trained in traditional CPR, hesitate and panic before performing it on an injured person. The American Heart Association (AHA) says the new compression-only technique, which avoids the need for people to blow air into the victim’s mouth, helps overcome the hesitation to act.

Studies show that in many cases the technique is just as effective as traditional CPR — when used in the right circumstances — because oxygen stays in the blood and organs for several minutes after collapse.

“Be 911: Teens Take Heart” is the first program of its kind in the city. Teachers are members of FDNY’s Mobile CPR Training Unit, which has already trained more than 50,000 city residents in compressions-only CPR. The program is funded by more than $100,000 in grants from NYC Service, which fosters volunteer work, and the non-profit FDNY Foundation.


The program is funded by more than $100,000 in grants from NYC Service, which fosters volunteer work, and the non-profit FDNY Foundation.

FDNY says they responded to 22,000 cardiac arrests in 2013.

 


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