Recognizing the need to improve emergency preparedness among UConn Extension volunteers, the New London County Agricultural Extension Council, Inc. sponsored an AED & CPR training for 15 participants on March 22, 2023. This training was open to UConn Extension Master Gardeners and Composters, 4-H volunteers, and Extension Council members in New London County. Instructors from UConn Rescue, a student-led organization focused on emergency education, traveled to the New London County Extension Center in Norwich to facilitate this certification program. Topics covered included scene and situation assessment, steps to performing high quality CPR, utilizing an AED device for children and adults, and recognition and response to choking in all ages.
Although the majority of participants indicated that they had been CPR certified in the past, significant improvements in knowledge as a result of this program were reported. Comparisons of group knowledge levels determined through pre- and post-test evaluation data indicated a 42.60% improvement in the ability to recognize when an individual requires CPR, with a 41.34% improvement in the understanding of how to perform CPR in such a scenario. There was a 58.60% improvement in knowledge associated with using an automated external defibrillator (AED) and 42.80% improvement in knowing when and how to provide assistance for a child or adult that is choking. A 40% improvement in emergency preparedness was also reported for this group.
All respondents indicated that they would recommend this training to others. Participants noted that the location of this training made it easier to attend, and that they appreciated the hands-on approach facilitated by the UConn Rescue instructors. Inclusion of child and infant response procedures were also valued, as the majority of attendees were UConn 4-H volunteers in the county.
Equipping Extension volunteers with knowledge and skills pertaining to first aid, CPR and AED use can help them to feel more prepared in the case of an emergency situation. Special thanks are given to the New London County Agricultural Extension Council, Inc. and UConn Rescue for their contributions to this training.
Article by Sara Tomis