CPR/Sports Medicine Club Is a Lifesaver

How many clubs offer the opportunity to learn a life-saving skill? The co-founders of one of Poly’s newer clubs, the CPR/Sports Medicine Club, are excited to see the impact the club has on both Poly and the wider community.

CPR Club was founded last year, but couldn’t meet in person until this year.  The Class of 2022 student leaders and co-founders are Caroline Hanna ’22, Matthew Hanna ’22, and Ben Rosenberg ’22, who have created this opportunity for students to learn life-saving skills and obtain a Red Cross CPR certification upon completion of the course offered during the club.

Alyssa Alaimo instructs CPR club

Poly’s certified athletic trainers Alyssa Alaimo and John Pomponio are the faculty advisors for the club and lead Poly’s Sports Medicine Department.

“I was very surprised that the students were interested in and came up with this idea,” Alaimo said. “I did not think that something like this was on their radar; it just shows you how mature these students are. This club exists all thanks to these students.”

“If we can teach kids how to properly perform life-saving aid, the number of fatalities will significantly decrease.”

Caroline Hanna ’22
Caroline Hanna ’22

“Matthew, Ben, and I founded this club,” said Caroline Hanna, “because we learned about the harsh reality of heart attacks, chokings, drownings, and so many more things that cause sudden death in people. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) helps keep blood flowing and provides oxygen to the brain and other important organs. This doubles the odds of survival. If we can teach kids how to properly perform life-saving aid, the number of fatalities will significantly decrease.” She continued, “So many people are not educated on how to perform CPR, and when they are stuck in a situation where someone needs urgent resuscitation, they aren’t able to do it. In many states, including New York, CPR is a mandatory requirement to graduate high school. While we are a private school that does not have to require CPR certification to graduate, our club is an opportunity to teach Poly students how to save lives.”

“It is a skill that you should know and that you never want to use.”

Alyssa Alaimo

“We think it was important to create the club,” added Ben Rosenberg ’22, “because we believe CPR education is very important and that everyone should be CPR certified. I am eager to complete the CPR training and for everyone else to learn more about sports medicine.” Although he does not plan to incorporate sports medicine into his future career, Rosenberg said, “But you never know.”

The Lifesaving Skills of CPR and First Aid

On a recent Friday during club time, Pomponio reviewed what the dozen students had previously learned about CPR.

“What is the rate of compressions to breaths?” he asked.

“Thirty compressions to two breaths,” a student recalled. He later noted that the compressions and breaths would be done in five cycles every two minutes. Pomponio also reviewed back blows and abdominal thrusts to help someone who is choking.

“When do you stop?” Pomponio prompted them.

“When there is an obvious sign of life” was the response.  Also, “when the scene becomes unsafe,” he said, such as if there is an electric wire or the victim is near the highway.

Pomponio used Matt Hanna to demonstrate how to lower a victim to the floor. Then he explained how to use an AED, an automated external defibrillator, to shock a victim, who is in cardiac arrest. He pointed out that if the victim is wearing a zipped jacket that could become a conductor of electricity and result in electrocution of the first responder.

John Pomponio-Careccia instructs CPR club

The students broke into pairs to practice back blows and abdominal thrusts. Then Pomponio demonstrated how to do rescue breathing, first checking for blocked airways and then pinching the victim’s nose, breathing, and watching for the chest to rise. He also demonstrated CPR for an infant using two fingers rather than full hands.

Everyone Is Capable and Welcome

“This club is open for anyone who wants to learn more about CPR and first aid,” Alaimo said. “You do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience before attending this club. This is a skill that everyone and anyone who is interested in and capable of learning should know. It is a skill that you should know and that you never want to use.”

“The course, which encompasses Adult/Pediatric CPR and AED in conjunction with basic first aid, is about an 8-hour course in total. We break this up to accommodate the club period time.”

John Pomponio

After completing the course and obtaining certification,” Pomponio added, “we are leaving open the opportunity for students to ‘shadow’ us on the sidelines at practice and games to see some of the skills they have learned in action.”

“I’m extremely eager to get students certified,” Caroline Hanna said, “and to see the impact our club has created!”

For more information about joining the CPR/Sports Medicine Club and about CPR training, please contact Poly athletic trainers John Pomponio or Alyssa Alaimo. Students may also email Matthew, Ben, or Caroline.