EAST MEADOW — In light of the high-profile cardiac arrest emergencies of Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin and Long Island high school basketball player P.J. Kellachan, Nassau University Medical Center police medics based at the Nassau County Fire-Police EMS Academy are educating their fellow county workers on how to administer CPR.
The medics have created an easy-to-follow course to teach their co-workers, who are very aware of the Hamlin and Kellachan incidents, as well as a cardiac arrest event that recently happened to a co-worker.
“A Nassau County police officer suffered cardiac arrest while on duty at Eisenhower Park,” said CSEA Nassau County Ambulance Medical Technicians Unit 1st Vice President Ryan Makovy. “Another officer gave him early CPR defibrillation and attached an Automated External Defibrillator [AED]. We transported him to the hospital.”
The optional program will be taught at county worksites where members can more easily access the hour-long class.
The police medics will be working with the county’s Office of Emergency Management to provide take-home CPR kits designed by the American Heart Association, created with at-home learning in mind. The kit is in a box the size of a large book and includes an inflatable CPR mannequin and an instructional DVD.
“It’s designed to be lay-person oriented,” said Makovy. “You won’t be considered officially CPR trained, but you will have the functioning knowledge you need to address an emergency.”
Keeping lingering COVID-19 concerns in mind, the worksite course teaches hands-only CPR as well as instructions on how to use an AED.
“It’s a great overview of what CPR is and how to do it in a situation where it’s necessary,” said Nassau County Police Medic Matthew Gordon. “If you practice with this DVD, you’ll know exactly what to do.”
Also considering physical injuries in the workplace, the Office of Emergency Management decided to include a “Stop the Bleed” tourniquet kit in the CPR kit.
The police medics and Office of Emergency Management will also check the functionality of all AEDs in county buildings.
“This is really a partnership between Nassau University Medical Center police medics and CSEA members working in the Office of Office of Emergency Management,” said CSEA Nassau County Ambulance Medical Technicians Unit President Kris Kalender.
The police medics recently held a well-attended, abridged demonstration of the course and received positive feedback. Initially, the workers were apprehensive, but felt more confident when it was over.
“This is great knowledge to have in case you are in proximity to someone going into cardiac arrest,” said Makovy. “During a medical emergency, anything you do is better than nothing.”
— Wendi Bowie