Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thirty Minutes to Save A Life

Long Island, May 10, 2012 – On May 10, the American Heart Association and members of the Great Neck Vigilant Engine & Hook & Ladder Company kicked off their endeavor to train more than 5,000 students in eight of Great Neck’s public schools.  

From left to right: Vigilant Fire Company Members and Officers: Josh Kerben, Joshua Feintuch,
Michael Diehl, Nina Noy, EMS Sergeant Steven Blocker, EMS Corporal Joe Oginski, Rachel Namdar,
Drew Dumaine, Doris Groene, Joshua Rakhman and Frank Groene.
“Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is one of the most fundamental and essential skills that one can know. CPR is only rendered effective when it is initiated within six minutes of the onset of cardiac arrest” said George Murphy,EMT-P, I/C – American Heart Association.

According to the American Heart Association, survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest occurring outside the hospital are alarmingly low, with only 11% surviving with fewer than 1 in 3 of those victims receiving CPR from a bystander. This results in 383,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the U.S. In order to provide patients with the highest chance of survival, Vigilant decided to institute an aggressive multi-phased plan to provide early CPR to the residents of the Great Neck community.

The American Heart Association’s 2010 revised CPR guidelines make it easier for more people to perform CPR. The greater emphasis is now placed on the simplest step – chest compressions, or “hands-only CPR.
On a Thursday morning, the kickoff for the “hand-only CPR” program began with students and administration from Great Neck South Middle School. They gathered in the gymnasium to hear about the program and begin their CPR training during the American Heart Association’s “Family & Friends CPR Anytime” class.
Students with their new Course Completion Certificates! 

“The overall goal is to educate faculty and students in grades three through twelve with CPR training,” said Steven Blocker, Sergeant - Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company. “We want to properly educate over 5,000 students, faculty and staff of the Great Neck Public Schools using the American Heart Association’s “Family & Friends CPR Anytime” program,” said Blocker.

“Training students in CPR, even in this more simple version, means that students become eligible for one of the most exclusive clubs in the world — the “I Saved a Life Club.” I am excited about making Great Neck students eligible. I thank Dave Zawatson, district athletic director, and the Great Neck Vigilant Engine & Hook & Ladder Company for developing this training opportunity. What a great community partnership!” said Dr. Thomas Dolan Superintendent, Great Neck Public Schools.

After the training in the schools is complete, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company will begin to provide CPR training to the community monthly at the fire house. In addition, any individual will be able to sign up and attend the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver AED (automated external defibrillator) training.  
For more information about the Vigilant CPR initiative visit or email
Written by Jessica DiMeo, American Heart Association

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