Illini Emergency Medical Services, a student program under the Illinois Fire Service Institute, received national recognition recently when the U. of I. was awarded the designation of a HEARTSafe Campus. IEMS accepted the award Feb. 24 at the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation Awards Reception in Philadelphia.
The award acknowledges the significant contributions IEMS made to the automated external defibrillator program on the Urbana-Champaign campus. These efforts included CPR training for more than 2,600 members of the campus community in the past year.
The Urbana campus is the first in Illinois to receive the distinction, the only Big Ten university with the distinction and one of only 32 schools nationwide to be awarded the honor. In the five-year history of the HEARTSafe Campus award program, the U. of I. is the largest institution to receive the recognition.
“I am very proud of the IEMS Program and what it has and will continue to do for the U of I.,” said Royal P. Mortenson, the director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute. “Since officially becoming a part of IFSI in 2016, the program has directly improved the overall safety of the U. of I. campus in a number of ways. This award is but one part of that effort.”
“In early 2016, IEMS identified that we needed more AEDs on our campus and that they had the capability to train more members of the campus community in CPR,” said Brian R. Brauer, the associate director of IFSI and the IEMS advisor. “Becoming a HEARTSafe Campus was a two-year journey that allowed the student leaders within IEMS to use the national criteria as a goal to work toward. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign leadership has strongly supported this effort, and our campus is better prepared to deal with a sudden cardiac arrest as a result of their diligent efforts.”