‘Heartsaver’ class addresses cardiac emergencies


AED training

Robert Ogoreuc, assistant professor of physical and health education, demonstrates the proper technique for using an AED.

July 6, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Every second counts during a cardiac emergency. To make sure its employees make the most of those critical seconds, Slippery Rock University is offering employee training in two interventions that save lives - CPR and Automated External Defibrillator use.

The July 14 "Heartsaver AED" class will teach 20 employees how to reduce the risk of adult heart attack death by using CPR and one of SRU's 30 on-campus AEDs. The portable devices provide verbal instructions for diagnosing and treating heart attack, including a shock to restore the heartbeat.

bob ogoreuc


"The earlier the intervention, the better the chance of survival," said Robert Ogoreuc, SRU assistant professor of physical and health education, who will teach the video-enhanced class. "To have access to AEDs is so critical to the chain of survival and part of Slippery Rock University's multi-layers of safety equipment and strategies."

Participants, who will also learn how to relieve choking, will receive an American Heart Association Course Completion Card that is valid for two years upon completing the two-hour class.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation uses chest compression to pump blood to the heart. AEDs, mounted on walls at SRU like fire extinguishers, activate an emergency response alarm when someone pulls one out of its casing.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world and the U.S., killing more than 375,000 Americans annually, according to the American Heart Association. The agency says 735,000 Americans have heart attacks every year and that heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Ogoreuc said medical professionals use five chain of survival strategies for heart attacks: recognition of cardiac and activation of emergency response; CPR; rapid defibrillation; advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care.

Heart attack symptoms include collapse, chest and arm pain and shortness of breath, he said.

While acknowledging that some people might be too scared to intervene in an emergency, Ogoreuc said the defibrillation devices, coupled with CPR, could save lives. He said the AED training is critical, because AEDs provide the first line of intervention, followed by CPR if the device identifies that as the next step.

"If someone in my family is having a heart attack, I hope there is a Good Samaritan who will step up and provide care," he said. "We are offering a couple hours of training that could ultimately save a family member, a friend or complete stranger. There really is no better feeling than knowing you have saved someone's life."

Joel Brown, SRU fire and safety manager, said the AEDs walk a user through the process step-by-step.

"The ones we have are designed to work by themselves. All people need is for someone to hook them up, and that's where the training comes in," he said.

AED yellow boxes

The yellow boxes include two sealed pads and a picture of where to place the pads on a person's chest. Push a button and the device tells you what do to.

"It (the device) analyzes to see of there's a heartbeat. If there is a heartbeat, it won't shock," he said. "It will advise you to stand back. If it advised you to shock, it will tell you to push a button to shock the heart."

Brown said he would like to place at least one AED in each campus building. "If someone has a heart attach or falls over, an observer, whether they're trained or not, can take this and use it. It tells you exactly what to do," Brown said. "We want to spread this message with employees so they know how easy it is to use and are more likely to help in an emergency."

SRU has taken steps to enhance awareness of heart health through curriculum and new fitness programs such as the Run Club and Rock Personal Training Program. The University has embraced national movements such as the Go Red for Women heart disease campaign.

Employees may register for Heartsaver AED, by calling 724.738.2070. The training will be offered at SRU's Leadership Development Center, offered in coordination with the center.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu