Helping Hearts – SFU holds mass CPR training event
By Alex Pappas
More than 400 staff, faculty and students participated in SFU’s Helping Hearts training event on Sept. 19 at the Burnaby campus. They were learning how to use hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to help people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. This condition occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, and causes death if not treated within minutes.
The event, offered in partnership with the Heart & Stroke Foundation and AED distributor Iridia Medical, featured 75 training stations set out in Convocation Mall. Each station was equipped with a CPR mannequin and a portable AED training unit. During the half-hour training sessions performed throughout the day, instructors from Heart & Stroke coached participants as they moved through the process of doing hands-only CPR and using the AEDs.
Laura Vajanto, program manager, emergency and continuity planning for SFU’s Safety and Risk Services department, spearheaded the event as part of a comprehensive program to increase the number of publicly accessible AEDs across all three SFU campuses.
“We see safety as part of a personal and civic responsibility” says Vajanto, who notes there are 49 publicly available AEDs across all three campuses.
“Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere. Training people to perform CPR or use an AED provides important skills should a member of our University community need them in an emergency situation.”
Vajanto says she and her team were pleased with turnout to the event, and plan to offer further CPR/AED training at all three campuses.