Entire School District Gets CPR Certified, Fake Tourniquets and Protecting Medics from Violence

Issue 10 and Volume 40.


About a year ago, New Jersey state lawmakers signed into law that every K–12 school must have a defibrillator on site, an emergency action plan in place and at least five CPRtrained staff members. But the Pascack Valley Regional High School District decided that wasn’t enough. Instead, the district helped CPR-certify all of its 2,000 students, teachers and staff.

“In 2014, we had a track runner at one of our high schools collapse in cardiac arrest,” the district’s Director of Curriculum Barry Bachenheimer, PhD, EMT, said. “Thanks to the quick reaction and implementation of CPR and an AED by students, coaches, the trainer and local EMS, the student had a full recovery. As a result, we as a district, supported by our board of education, decided that every one of our students, faculty and staff would not only be trained, but also certified in CPR every year.”

The mass certification was so impressive that even the American Heart Association took notice. It gave the school district an award for promoting the “chain of survival.”

We give a thumbs up to the Pascack Valley Regional High School District for their commitment to the safety and wellness to their community. They’ve set an excellent example, and hopefully other schools around the country will soon follow suit.


As first responders, we often rely on various equipment and materials to aid us in our lifesaving work. When that equipment can’t be trusted, the consequences are serious. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened in New Hampshire.

Emergency responders from Woodsville Rescue Ambulance were treating an injured motorcyclist. When a knock-off combat application tourniquet (CAT) was applied to the man’s leg, the windlass rod snapped, rendering it useless. Thankfully, there were other non-faulty products onboard, and the patient was transported safely to the hospital. However, this incident prompted the state to alert medical professionals that counterfeit tourniquets were being sold illegally, and that patients’ lives could be at risk.

The maker of CATs, North American Rescue, suspects the fakes are being made in China and being sold for about a third of the price. The company encourages medical personnel to contact them to make sure their tourniquets are authentic.

“These counterfeit tourniquets are being made with inferior materials and design. They also are not being made with the high standard quality control processes used in making CATs,” the company said in a press release. “Some counterfeits have catastrophically failed during actual lifesaving applications. There are several counterfeit medical devices on the market sold by online vendors on eBay, Amazon and Alibaba. It’s essential for agencies to know they are buying authentic and quality medical devices. They want to be sure that the tourniquet they buy will work when it is needed.”

We give a thumbs down to the peddlers of these fake tourniquets. They’ve made the unethical choice to value a quick buck over people’s lives.


Violence against first responders is a scary truth that often gets forgotten, which is why one social media campaign out of South Australia is trying to remind others of the dangers of EMS.

The “Keep Your Hands Off Our Ambos” campaign aims to educate the public about the violence EMS workers can face, a threat that most people are unaware of. A video released by South Australia’s department of health depicts a severely injured patient’s friend pushing an EMT. The video makes the point, “I can’t fight for your mate’s life if I’m fighting for mine.” It’s been seen by millions of people across the world.

The best part? The campaign seems to be working. Australian emergency workers have seen a 45% decrease in attacks since the campaign launched, though officials say they won’t be completely satisfied until the number of attacks drops to zero.

We give a thumbs up to the South Australian government for shining a light on a serious issue many people don’t know about. Their effective efforts are making first responders, and the communities they serve, much safer.