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Defibrillators coming to campus buildings

Automatic external defibrillators, which can help jumpstart the heart during a cardiac emergency, will soon be installed in nearly every building on campus.

A total of 130 devices will be installed throughout the Vestal campus and at the Innovative Technologies Complex and University Downtown Center, said David Hubeny, emergency manager with the University Police Department.

“We don’t know how often we’ll need them, but the potential is they’re going to save somebody’s life,” Hubeny said.

Hubeny is coordinating a series of monthly classes to educate faculty, staff and students about how to use the machines. The three-hour sessions will focus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as use of the automatic external defibrillator (AED). Additional training will be scheduled for individual buildings as machines become available.

Participants in the training sessions will receive a CPR mask and a CD with a manual. They’ll learn how to administer CPR and how to assess a patient.

The training is valid for two years, but participants will also receive automated reminders every six months to visit a Web site that offers a brief refresher on the tasks involved.

“The training is all practical, and it’s based on repetition,” Hubeny said, noting the AEDs are simple and straightforward to use.

A minimum of two people will be trained for each unit installed on campus. “We’re hoping to achieve more than that, though,” said Hubeny, who added that more than a dozen people were trained in the Couper Administration Building, which has three units.

The Fine Arts Building and the Lecture Hall are next on the list of facilities to get AEDs, to be followed by the dining halls. State law mandates that all of the defibrillators be ready for use by April 1, 2009.

The machines, which were purchased in bulk by the SUNY system, cost roughly $1,800 apiece. The devices will be placed in small cases; an alarm signal is sent to University Police when the door of a case is opened.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08