Colby Kusinitz '23 and UCEMS: At the Ready
"...we have met with our local emergency departments, and we have a plan in place whereby in an emergency situation, UCEMS can help out as licensed EMTs, which is a tremendous resource in situations where extra hands are needed.”
In an emergency, the first thing you might do is to look for help.
If Colby Kusinitz ’23 has his way, help will be close by if you’re anywhere on the Utica College campus.
Kusinitz, a cybersecurity major from Old Bethpage, N.Y., serves as captain of Utica College Emergency Medical Services. UCEMS is a student and staff organization that responds to emergency situations on campus. The group, started on campus in 2014, became an official New York State Basic Life Support (BLS) agency the following year.
Most recently, UCEMS has recertified UC as a HEARTSafe campus.
“This means that we have enough of our student population certified to ensure a high probability that if someone were to experience a cardiac issue on campus, it’s likely that someone nearby would have the required skills to help the patient until trained medical personnel arrived,” Kusinitz said. While the minimum requirement is that greater than five percent of the community must be proficient in CPR, the College currently sits at approximately 10 percent.
The group’s goals include training even more UC students, faculty and staff in basic life support techniques, he said. To that end, UCEMS is working with the College’s Emergency Management Office, Student Living and College Engagement, and the Dean’s Office to collaborate on a training model for first-year orientation. The training will include hands-only CPR and Stop the Bleed training, Kusinitz said.
But the group is not stopping there.
“Our goals for the next year include helping the College establish the Office of Emergency Medical Services, purchasing CPR manikins, incentivizing the EMS program, and continuing to increase the number of CPR-certified students and staff on campus,” he said.
“As a campus, we are also EMS ready,” Kusinitz said. “This means we have met with our local emergency departments, and we have a plan in place whereby in an emergency situation, UCEMS can help out as licensed EMTs, which is a tremendous resource in situations where extra hands are needed.”
The HEARTSafe program was initiated by the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation to promote community awareness through the use of CPR. The certification is good for three years.
Thanks to this dedicated group of volunteers, every heart on the UC campus beats just a little bit safer.
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