New York City Schools Implement System-wide AED Program

June 3, 2003
The New York City Department of Education is instituting a comprehensive automated external defibrillator (AED) program covering all 1,200 public schools in the city.

New York City Schools Implement System-wide AED

Implementation of the program, which includes at least one AED in every school, management services, training, inventory management, inspections, consulting, medical oversight and reporting, will begin immediately. The program will be implemented by Complient Corp.

Once fully implemented, the New York City program will be one of the largest AED programs in the world. The New York City public schools have nearly 1.1 million students and 125,000 employees. Under the three-year contract, Complient will train at least 18,000 school employees in how to use the devices and respond effectively to an emergency. The first-year value of the contract is an estimated $770,000.

Tony Shorris, deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, said, "We are moving forward on our commitment to implement the state law in all 1,200 schools. Our coaches and athletic directors began training earlier this year and we will continue to train our staff during the summer and in the coming school year."

Approximately 3,000 AEDs previously purchased by the school system will be deployed in all of the public schools (elementary through high school) located throughout Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. AEDs are laptop computer-sized, typically wall-mounted electronic devices that can be used to restart a heart that is beating irregularly or has stopped beating due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Complient, the premier outsource provider of AED programs for large organizations, will manage the program locally in New York City. Complient will have a dedicated on-site project manager who is supported by a New York City-based operations team. Complient's activities will include program management, site assessments to determine where AEDs should be placed, medical direction, training, maintenance, post-event servicing and documentation, and record-keeping through its Web-based MasterTrakSM service.

"Complient is very proud to be entrusted with this important responsibility - protecting New York City's children and the people who work in the public schools," said Robert I. Thompson, CEO of Complient, Solon, Ohio. "We intend to work closely with the Department of Education and use all of our experience in managing programs for other large organizations to create one of the very best AED programs in the world. Our experience with clients in New York City and across the country proves that fully effective AED programs can save lives."

Administrators, staff, and extracurricular advisers and coaches will be among the thousands of people trained to use the devices in an emergency. Training, a 6.5-hour course covering AED use and CPR, will be provided on-site at various school and administrative locations. Retraining will be provided every two years, and schools will also hold periodic mock drills to refresh their skills.

Complient also operates AED programs for many large organizations including Amtrak, the Gillette Co., Parker Hannifin Corp., the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Schering-Plough Corp. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2002, clients' programs saved 21 lives.

"A successful AED program increases your chances of a positive outcome in sudden cardiac arrest situations," Thompson said. "From our perspective, a successful program means training is coordinated and scheduled. Responder certifications are maintained, and equipment inventories are kept current. Maintenance is important because it ensures readiness and continuity of the program."

For further information about AED programs, see "AEDs: Are You Following Best Practices?"

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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