More than 100 employees at County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph have received American Heart Association CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to increase the number of potential lifesavers on campus and in the community.
The free training program for employees, which began last year and remains ongoing, was initiated by the college after Joan Cunningham, then dean of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences, suffered a heart attack during a meeting. It was the quick action of Dr. Dwight Smith, vice president of Academic Affairs, and two members of the Department of Public Safety – David Ackerman and Charles Munk – that not only saved Cunningham but also ensured that she suffered no brain damage as a result of the heart attack.
“Many things were done right that day,” said Elizabeth Hoban, nurse and coordinator of Health Services at CCM, who is conducting the CPR and AED training for employees. “The fact that Dwight began administering compressions right away kept oxygen going to Joan’s brain.”
“That’s the value of training. You just respond because you don’t have to stop and think,” said Smith. “It was instantaneous.”
“Every time I think about it, I realize how fortunate I am that they were there,” said Cunningham. “I got a second chance because they were there. How many people get that?” CCM has 18 state-of-the art AEDs located throughout the campus. As a result of the training, it also has many people on hand who are prepared to make use of them should the need arise again.
“It’s great others have received training and we have the AEDs,” noted Smith. “Not only is it helpful for the CCM community, but we have people who are trained to help should a situation arise when they are out in public or even at home.”