Emergency Medical Services Week educates students

By The Daily Illini staff report

To help prevent emergency situations going from OK to worse, the University is offering Emergency Medical Services Week to educate students on how to properly respond to emergencies.

Taking part in the National Collegiate EMS Week, Illini Emergency Medical Services laid out various events which started Monday and will end Saturday.

“The events planned for this week are designed to either equip students with the critical skills needed for a medical emergency or provide insight into how EMS works,” said Nathan Cornwell, president of Illini EMS in an email.

He said this week was inspired by the National EMS Week, which was held in May, but this event is more tailored towards the unique medical needs of a campus setting. 

On Monday, there was a 45-minute CPR Class at the Illini Union Art Gallery, and a general meeting discussing IEMS was held Tuesday.

An ambulance was on display at the Main Quad on Wednesday afternoon, and a free Bleeding Control course was offered in the English Building later that evening.

“The actions of bystanders in between calling 911 and EMS arriving can dramatically change outcomes, particularly if someone is actively bleeding or not breathing, which is why we decided to offer free courses in CPR and Bleeding Control this Wednesday,” Cornwell said.

On Thursday, IEMS received the “Excellence in Fire Service-Based Emergency Medical Services” award, a national-level award given by the Congressional Fire Service Institute and medical technology company Masimo.

“This comes in recognition of our efforts over the past year to become a HEARTSafe Campus, which involved capturing the CPR training of over 2,600 individuals on campus and increase Automated External Defibrillator (AED) access around campus through the addition of 42 AEDs,” Cornwell said.

He said the University is currently the only one in Illinois to have received this distinction. It is also the first of the Big Ten schools.

IEMS will celebrate its 40th anniversary at a banquet Friday.

On the final day of the EMS Week, IEMS members and alumni staffed the home Illini football game against Iowa State, in which people could help out or request an observer credential.

The hope for all of our training events is that the skills learned will never need to be used, but situations requiring bleeding control and CPR have occurred on campus in the past,” Cornwell said. “And the more students who are aware of how to respond, the safer our campus will be.”

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