The FDNY Foundation-funded FDNY CPR Unit trained more than 200 civilian employees of the FDNY during the month of July.
The trainings were held at FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn on three separate dates. The 205 civilian employees were training in compressions-only – or bystander – CPR.
“We are so proud of all that our CPR team has accomplished across this city,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “They have gone into schools, into community centers, into senior centers and into businesses in every borough to train New Yorkers how to perform compressions-only CPR, and now, they have given more than 200 of our civilian employees the skills they need to step in and possibly save a life in the event of cardiac emergency.”
“Since many inside our headquarters are non-uniformed personnel, we wanted to make sure a large percent of the workforce knew what to do in an emergency,” said FDNY Captain Cesar Escobar. “We are grateful for all the years of support from the FDNY Foundation. This type of training is only possible because of funding from the Foundation and NYC Service.”
The Be 911 Compressions-Only CPR Program is funded by the FDNY Foundation in partnership with NYC Service. The program is taught by certified FDNY EMS personnel and has trained more than 110,000 New Yorkers in compressions-only CPR.
“While the FDNY responds to all emergencies, it is coworkers, friends, family members or bystanders who will witness someone go into cardiac arrest,” said Captain Escobar. “They are the key to maintaining blood flow through chest compressions and using a defibrillator before EMS personnel arrive, all increasing someone’s chance of survival.”
“I’ve always wanted to learn CPR so when I saw the Department was doing this, I thought, it’s a no-brainer,” said Chief Inspector in the Bureau of Fire Prevention Sandy Camacho, who participated in the training. “I felt like it was really important because if someone needed CPR, I wouldn’t have known what to do. I brought my son with me, he’s nine years old, and even he saw that he could do it. I’ve also never seen a demonstration of an AED. They’re everywhere now, but I never knew how to use it. I could step in now if I saw someone in cardiac arrest, I feel confident thanks to this hands-on experience.”
“I used to be a CPR instructor. It’s been many years and I wanted to refresh my memory on the basic things. When I was taking the class, it came right back to me,” said Lizette Perez, who works in the FDNY Chief of Department’s Office and participated in the training. “Without a doubt, I know I could step in and help if I needed to. When you tell people you work for the FDNY, they immediately ask, ‘are you a firefighter or EMT?’ Even if you’re not, the fact that you have some knowledge and some ability to come to someone’s aid, that’s something I think every FDNY employee should have.”
Last December, the Foundation joined the FDNY and NYC Service to unveil the free “Be 911: Teens Take Heart” program. Through the program, members of the FDNY are training high school students across the city to perform compressions-only CPR and, in addition, are educating students on cardiovascular health.
“The FDNY Foundation is proud to support the life-saving mission of the FDNY, in part by funding the CPR Unit,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow. “And we are proud to see this training happening right here at home, training the Department’s civilian employees in basic CPR skills. These employees could save a life, and that is the most important part of our mission.”
The FDNY Mobile CPR Unit will host bystander CPR training sessions at your location. Click here for more information and to sign up to participate in the Be 911 Compressions-Only CPR Program.
"I used to be a CPR instructor. It’s been many years and I wanted to refresh my memory on the basic things. When I was taking the class, it came right back to me. Without a doubt, I know I could step in and help if I needed to. When you tell people you work for the FDNY, they immediately ask, ‘are you a firefighter or EMT?’ Even if you’re not, the fact that you have some knowledge and some ability to come to someone’s aid, that’s something I think every FDNY employee should have.” "