Dorm Life and Staying Alive: AEDs on Campus

Members of ITA, David Campbell and Robert Moses pose with an AED.
Photo Courtesy / Jordan Dorrien
Members of ITA, David Campbell and Robert Moses pose with an AED.
Photo Courtesy / Jordan Dorrien




In some cases, all you have to do is ask to get what you want.  Iota Tau Alpha, an honor society for Athletic Training students, found this out by asking the simple question: can we have AEDs available in the dorms for student safety?

An AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is used when someone goes unconscious and has no pulse.  The use of AED’s dramatically increases the likelihood of survival for the victim. The process of getting AEDs into the dorms began a month ago when ITA had Rachel Moyer come talk to the society about AEDs.

The society raised funds for the Gregory W. Moyer Foundation, which buys AEDs for schools that do not have the budget to buy these life savers.  For Moyer this is something that really hits home.

The foundation was set up after her son, Gregory, died from a sudden cardiac arrest.  An AED was not available for him when this event occurred.  But, since Gregory’s death, Rachel has been on a mission to make sure every school has an AED available.

After Rachel spoke to the society in one of the communal dorms, she asked if there was an AED within the building.  This simple, yet pivotal, question was the first domino that built momentum for safer resident housing.

The officers of ITA decided it would be good to bring the idea to Resident Life about purchasing AEDs for the dorms.  Rebecca Cantwell, ITA treasurer, had a meeting with Dave Campbell, Associate Director of Resident Life and Housing, in the beginning of April.

In the meeting Cantwell explained the use of AEDs and the importance of having them.

AEDs on campus have already saved two lives.

One was an attendee of graduation and the second was an ESU student participating in a fitness class.

In order for an AED to be most efficient in saving a life, it needs to be placed on the victim within 2-3 minutes of cardiac event.

With every minute that passes, the survival rate diminishes 10%.  Having the AEDs on site is optimal so that the earliest defibrillation can occur.

Although campus police do carry AEDs in their cars, they do not always come into the building with them when they are doing rounds.  Campbell saw that this was something needed in the dorms and began working on finding out how the AEDs could be installed in the dorms in the fastest way possible.

After a few phone calls Campbell was able to get the funds from Assistant Chief/Health & Safety Specialist James Flannery who has worked on getting AEDs into other buildings on campus in the past, and Dean Robert Moses, Director of Resident Life and Housing.

The officers of ITA then met with Dave Campbell and Dean Moses and brought an AED with them.  In the meeting, Christine Feldbauer, ITA Vice President, opened the AED and showed Dean Moses and Dave Campbell how it prompts the rescuer how to apply the machine step by step.  This process is easy and safe as the AED will not deliver a shock to anyone who is not truly in need of it.

Lastly, the officers expressed that the society would be happy to remain an active role in the safety of our campus by periodically inspecting these machines to ensure optimal functionality.

“This mission is something that strikes home for us as future Athletic Trainers. Whether in an athletic setting or a dorm hall, emergency care and preparation is a center piece in our professional practice,” said Jordan Dorrien, President of ITA.

This summer, after the placement positions are designated, the AEDs will be installed in every dorm hall.

All of this happened because a simple question was asked, and Dave Campbell, Assistant Chief/Health & Safety Specialist James Flannery, Dean Robert Moses, and Iota Tau Alpha Athletic Training Honor Society were determined to get it answered with a yes!


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