BC EMS To Host ‘CPR Marathon’ on Friday

The first annual Boston College Emergency Medical Services CPR Marathon will run from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 20 in Gasson 100. While the marathon is set to include fun activities and free prizes, its main event is the 12 hours of continuous CPR, which will be performed on dummies. 

The marathon is mandatory for all BC EMS members. Every member will be doing either a 30-minute or hour-long shift, according to Katie Piccioli, the organizer of the event and MCAS ’21. Each shift will have three to four members both performing CPR and teaching the procedure to students in attendance.

Piccioli has also decided to give BC students who are CPR certified a chance to participate in the 12-hour marathon, in hopes of getting as many people involved as possible.

“I was in an EMS program in high school and we did a 24-hour CPR marathon,” she said. “It was a big community event and everyone participated in doing 24 hours of CPR. People would come to get their blood pressures checked and there was a lot of cool educational opportunities,” she said.

The primary goal for the event is to forge closer ties between the EMS club and the BC community, according to Piccioli. She said that having an event like the CPR Marathon could improve BC EMS’s reputation among the student body. 

“BC EMS has the stigma of getting drunk kids and bringing them to the hospital, so we want a better face for BC EMS,” Piccioli said. “We’re here to help. We’re here to teach people things. We’re here for the students.” 

Pioccoili also hopes that BC students’ main takeaway from the marathon is a basic understanding of CPR techniques and emergency care, a skill she said is important for everyone to know.  

Eileen Flynn, a new member of BCEMS and MCAS ’23, emphasized the importance of awareness-spreading events like the CPR Marathon.

“It’s really important for people to know CPR so that if they’re in a situation where someone is having a heart attack they’re able to help,” she said. 

BC EMS’ attempt to spread awareness extends beyond BC’s campus, according to Pioccolli. She and the rest of the organization also aspires, through this event, to include school children and their families in the surrounding neighborhoods. Piccioli touched on the educational opportunities for young children in particular.

“A lot of our public relations officers have been reaching out in the community through the Newton babysitting page and calling schools to see if they can send an email to parents,” Piccioli said.

This year, BC EMS has set up a table full of health education information for children where they will be able to engage in activities such as learning how to call 911, Piccioli said. 

Several BC dance groups—including Sexual Chocolate, Fuego, and BCDE—as well as the student vocal group BC Music Guild, will all be making an appearance throughout the evening.

“It’s the combination of having a fun atmosphere with all the dancing and singing groups plus all the education aspect,” Piccioli said. “Just the fact that we’re doing 12 hours of continuous CPR is really cool”.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Editor