A new program aimed at offering high school students across New York City the opportunity to save lives by learning compressions-only CPR is already seeing success.
The FDNY Foundation joined the FDNY and NYC Service to unveil the free “Be 911: Teens Take Heart” program in December. Through the program, members of the FDNY are training high school students in all five boroughs to perform compressions-only CPR – or Bystander CPR – and, in addition, will educate students on cardiovascular health.
“This is a life-saving, life-changing skill that greatly enhances these students’ lives, and puts each one of them in a position to give back to their communities in a most unique way,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “This program is equipping students with the ability to give the gift of life to family members, friends, neighbors and any citizen, should that person ever be in need.”
At the special kick-off event held in December at the FDNY High School in Brooklyn, more than 150 high school students participated in the first training session of the program. The following week, more than 100 students from the World Academy of Total Community Health High School were trained in Bystander CPR.
The program is being funded by the FDNY Foundation and NYC Service, and is being offered in coordination with the FDNY, the FDNY Mobile CPR Unit and the New York City Department of Education. The program was created with the goal of training 5,000 students citywide and, with trainings planned for schools across the city this month, program leaders expect more than 2,000 students will be trained in the weeks to come.
More than a dozen schools have requested more information about the new program, featured on the FDNY’s educational website, FDNY Smart. In total, these schools have requested training for more than 1,200 students.
“It’s crucial for us to support the FDNY in its mission to keep everyone in this city safe by educating as many of its citizens as we can,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Steven Ruzow. “This program allows the FDNY to reach young people and to give them the skills they need to potentially step in and save a life.”
“We are so thrilled and so proud to see this program already having so much success,” said FDNY Foundation Executive Director Jean O’Shea. “It speaks so much to the engagement of our communities, that these schools have reached out to the FDNY and have asked for their students to be trained in these important skills.”
The FDNY has worked extensively with NYC Service to identify schools within communities that have higher incidences of cardiac arrest and cardiovascular risk factors. Those schools have been among the first to receive training through this first-of-its kind program. Additionally, the FDNY Bureau of Training – EMS Academy – has developed a healthy heart training presentation to educate students on cardiovascular health and to promote a healthy heart and healthy lifestyle.
“This is a life-saving, life-changing skill that greatly enhances these students' lives, and puts each one of them in a position to give back to their communities in a most unique way. This program is equipping students with the ability to give the gift of life to family members, friends, neighbors and any citizen, should that person ever be in need.”