Training students to save hearts and lives

The Seton Hill University Student Ambassadors (SHUSA) will host a pair of adult CPR training sessions on Sunday October 18 in Cecilian Hall in collaboration with the Westmoreland-Chestnut Ridge chapter of the American Red Cross.

By Sean Maiolo


The Seton Hill University Student Ambassadors (SHUSA) will host a pair of adult CPR training sessions on Sunday October 18 in Cecilian Hall in collaboration with the Westmoreland-Chestnut Ridge chapter of the American Red Cross.

Anna Bevington, a junior business major and president of the newly founded Red Cross Club of Seton Hill University (SHU) first proposed holding the mass training exercise.

“When Anna suggested a Red Cross event, we thought it was a great
idea,” said Carolyn Woods, associate director of the annual fund and an advisor of SHUSA, “This was really Anna’s brainchild.”

Bevington, who first began working with the Red Cross as a youth member over five years ago, quickly took on a leadership role within the youth group.

While a student at Franklin Regional High School, she started a Red Cross Club there and held a similar, but smaller scale event. She believes her experience from organizing this previously will lead to even greater success this time around.

“I’ve planned a mass training like this in high school,” Bevington said, “its easier having done this before.”

Bevington serves as the youth coordinator of the local chapter, and also is the youngest person working with their board of directors. She hopes people will discover that the Red Cross is “not only about blood.”

According to the director of emergency services, Mike Felice, the Westmoreland-Chestnut Ridge chapter serves over 400,000 people locally. They responded to 85 house fires over the past year, including eight in the past month.

The chapter also provided as much money as they could to help those families with food and shelter, as well as assisting with their insurance companies.

In addition to the blood drives and emergency assistance, the local branch offers training in a variety of useful skills ranging from babysitting training to first aid and CPR for pets.

Bevington also believes this event will help promote the often overlooked local chapters of the Red Cross.

“Everyone in the community knows about Seton Hill and [the Student Ambassadors], but not everyone knows about the local chapters,” Bevington said.

Alyssa Dreliszak, a sophomore and SHUSA member, thinks the CPR training will be a great success, noting the excitement she’s seen from others regarding the event.

“I’ll be attending the first session,” she said, “It’s going to be a successful event. I anticipate a big turnout.”

Woods and the other faculty advisors thought it was important to have the nearly 40 members of SHUSA have proper CPR training, a driving goal behind the event.
Both Woods and Bevington agreed on the importance of CPR and making sure as many people as possible could act in case of an emergency.

“It’s important to get as many people at Seton Hill trained as possible,” Bevington said, “It’s important that someone in the classroom can act in case of an emergency instead of waiting [for emergency personnel]. Time is valuable.”

Bevington also hopes to dismiss some fears and myths about learning CPR. Some people shy away from obtaining basic emergency training such as CPR for fear that they would bare a greater responsibility. They also may be hesitant to use CPR for fear that they may do harm.

“The training is pretty straightforward. Saving a life will outweigh any risk that you may encounter,” said Bevington.

Several certified CPR instructors will be on hand to teach those in attendance. The training will have a main CPR trainer on the front stage going through instructions on a PowerPoint presentation.

Mannequins will be lined up in rows through the hall with the other instructors walking around the hall to make sure that everyone is doing everything correctly.

Bevington says the event will be more fast-paced than typical CPR training events. The swifter pace, however, allows for many more people to receive the proper training in a relatively short amount of time.

SHUSA hopes to get at least 50 people trained at the event. Woods believes that SHUSA can do more events like this in the future with the help of both the Red Cross and Red Cross Club on campus.

“It could [expand] especially now with the emergence of the Red Cross Club,” Woods said.

The first of the two sessions will be held on Sunday, October 18 from 10:00 a.m. until noon with the second lasting from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. There is a $20 fee for the event, though that is a discounted rate from the Red Cross’ regular charge of $35. Anyone over the age of 15 is encouraged to attend.