The Northern New Jersey Chapter had its annual event at Six Flags Great Adventure on June 5th. In addition to a good turnout, there was excellent weather for folks to take advantage of the park after the ceremony. A number of people received hero awards for a CPR - AED save and were reunited with the survivor. Additionally, there was Chain of Survival Awards for special actions such as introducing and advancing CPR training and AED placement in schools.
High School Coaches Learn to Save Lives
By Christian Welch, Verona-Cedar Groves Times
When it comes to their athletes' safety, Cedar Groves High School coaches don't take chances.
In fact, they do everything in their power to provide them with the safest possible environment while they practice and compete against other teams.
Last week, 14 of these coaches were re-certified to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in an emergency.
CPR uses a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions to help save victims thought to be in cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association.
The high school coaches were also certified to operate an automated external defibrillator. The portable defibrillator is designed to be used during a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, such as a heart attack. Their certification came after completing an American Heart Association's course that explained how to operate the device.
Scott Larson, a township ambulance and rescue-squad member, said a defibrillator is designed to quickly provide medical attention to a heart attack victim. He explained the device is light-weight, standing only 12 inches and has a battery capable of providing 120 shocks before it needs to be recharged.
Once a defibrillator is switched on, Larson explained the device verbally instructs a person how to use it, making it both simple and practical to operate.
"It's very easy to use," Larson said. "It prompts you 100 percent. Practically anybody could figure out how to use it just by turning it on."
With the coaches seated in a semi-circle around him, Larson demonstrated how to operate a defibrillator, using one of five mannequins lying on mats in the room as his test subjects.
Following the demonstration, Larson had the coaches try operating the device themselves, by first turning it on, stripping the mannequin's shirt off, placing the units' two pads, which are also capable of monitoring the patient's heart rhythm, on the mannequin's chest and simulating shocking it.
Patricia Lynch, the high school's athletic director, who is also a member of the rescue squad, said although these coaches are required by state law to be certified to administer CPR every two years, their dedication to being trained goes much further than that.
Lynch said the school's coaches want to be prepared and ready to react if a medical emergency should arise during a practice or game, and that's why they completed the AED course.
"Even though they're required to do this, I think it makes them feel very confident that if there is an (medical) incident that happens on their team, they're equipped to handle it," said Lynch. "It gives them a sense of confidence."
The training took place at Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad's headquarters on Pompton Avenue under the direction of squad members.
The training used a combination of hands-on instruction, as well as videos produced by the AHA, to instruct and certify the coaches.
Larson said Cedar Grove High School and Memorial Middle School are both equipped with two AEDs, while each of the public elementary schools in town have one AED located on their premises.
Lynch said more than half of the school's coaches who were re-certified to administer CPR and completed the AED course. They include Bob Brady, Matt Bellantoni, Mike Carlucci, Bob Dunn, Derrick Goduto, Rob Gogerty, Jackie Lasky, Chuck Manzo, Chris McHugh, John Mendez, Rick Mosel, Ed Sadloch, Carly Turley and Val Sisti.
Lynch said these coaches guide athletes in freshman, junior varsity and varsity sport programs such as football, soccer, boy's tennis and softball.
Lynch said the school's other coaches still retain their CPR certifications, which won't have to be renewed until next year.
The Weichert, Realtors, ninth annual charity golf event and banquet was held Thursday, Aug. 20 at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Bedminster with nearly 200 golfers taking part.
Weichert has donated about $325,000 since the inception of the annual event.