November 13, 2014

Students Celebrate 40th Anniversary of EMS Week

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This week, volunteers from Cornell University Emergency Medical Services helped host health-related activities in honor of the 40th anniversary of National Collegiate EMS Week.

The events hosted during EMS Week, celebrating the services provided by collegiate EMTs across the United States, are intended to promote healthful behavior throughout the Cornell campus, according to Maggie Davis ’16, community education officer for CUEMS.

“All the activities that we have hosted this week are aimed at increasing the health of the Cornell community overall,” Davis said.

EMS Week kicked off on National CPR Day on Monday, according to Davis. To mark the occasion, CUEMS offered free hands-only CPR training classes across campus throughout the day.

Hands-only CPR is an easy two-step technique which can be performed by anyone at the scene of an emergency, according to a training video produced by CUEMS. The video — which was produced this year — was played by many professors at the beginning of their lectures, Davis said.

Although students who completed the courses were not awarded free CPR certification like they were last year, Davis said she believes the turnout was still impressive.

“Hands-only CPR is a simple, yet life-saving skill that can double or triple a heart attack victim’s chance of survival,” she said.

On Tuesday, CUEMS partnered with Bangs Ambulance and Cornell Environmental Health and Safety for the annual EMS Week emergency vehicle exposé on Ho Plaza, where students learned more about emergency vehicles, according to Davis. Wednesday marked the return of the “Got Soap?” campaign, an annual flu prevention program that was initiated by CUEMS in 2009, she added.

Volunteers on Ho Plaza Wednesday passed out thousands of bars of free soap and bottles of hand sanitizer, and CUEMS also held information sessions at Willard Straight Hall, Noyes Community Recreation Center and Robert Purcell Community Center to promote hand washing, according to Davis.

“Students were enthusiastic to receive [the soap] and CUEMS had a lot of fun distributing them,” Davis said.

On Friday, EMS Week will end with the distribution of free reusable cups at Willard Straight as part of the CUEMS “Mine Not Yours!” campaign, according to Davis. The campaign — which was added to EMS Week this year to prevent the spread of infectious diseases — will also aim to promote awareness of alcohol safety and date rape drugs.

Overall, Davis said she was “impressed” by the turnout of the events comprising EMS Week.

“I have been very impressed by how many students and members of the Cornell community have so far come out to support our events,” she said.

All EMS Week events were administered with the help of Gannett Health Services and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, according to CUEMS.