As part of its preparation for the start of the new school year, Randolph’s Office of Campus Safety has added new equipment to help respond to emergencies. The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation provided a grant for $6,863 to purchase six automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which were mounted on walls inside buildings across campus.
“In any case of a cardiac-related emergency, we’re going to call 911, but the first four minutes are critical,” said Kris Irwin, director of campus safety. “The great thing about AEDs is that anyone can use them without training. Once they’re activated, they give audible, step by step instructions for how to treat someone suffering from cardiac arrest and show you where to place the equipment.”
According to the Red Cross, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death among people of all ages in the United States, and more than 350,000 people will suffer from SCA this year. Portable AEDs are electronic devices that treat life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias through the application of electricity. They reestablish the heart’s natural rhythm and can save lives if they are used quickly on an individual experiencing cardiac arrest.
Randolph’s new AEDs are stationed strategically in high traffic areas across campus and in buildings that regularly host public events. The boxes are accessible to anyone and are equipped with an alarm that alerts others when it has been opened.
In addition to installing the AEDs, Randolph has taken other vital community safety steps. Thirty-nine members of the campus community, including campus safety officers and several faculty and staff, are now trained in CPR and first aid. The College has also worked to improve communications in emergency situations. Randolph has equipped staff with new, stronger frequency radios and established new protocols for reaching the campus community and other constituents via text message alerts and social media.
“The way people communicate is always changing, so we’re constantly having to adapt and find new ways to get the word out when something is happening,” Irwin said. “I think we’ve made great strides, especially in using social media to try and get important messages to our constituents.”
For more information about campus safety and emergency procedures at Randolph, please visit http://www.randolphcollege.edu/campussafety/.