The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center partnered with the Newark Fire Department this spring to train employees in CPR through an American Heart Association course. Between April and May, approximately 30 staffers earned CPR certifications.
Not only was the public/private partnership important for the relationship between the two organizations, but participating firefighters noted the importance of Devils and Prudential Center employees having the ability to assist in the case of emergency at a crowded arena where precious seconds can mean life or death.
“The great part of the partnership today is that we get the interaction between the fire service and Devils employees, so when there is an emergency,” explained Fire Chief John G. Centanni, “we already have a familiarity with one another to perform our duties.”
Spending a day with some of Newark’s finest firefighters, who were getting a refresher on some of the most important skills of their job, Devils and Prudential Center employees learned proper CPR technique, how to use an automated external defibrillator and how to identify whether someone is breathing or not. They were taught how to provide basic injury assessment and other forms of first aid, including what to do if someone appears to be having a heart attack, an allergic reaction or even a diabetic crisis, that can make a difference while waiting for EMTs to arrive.
Each session, led by medical professionals from St. Barnabus Medical Center, was a little different, depending on the prior knowledge of the students. For example, the April 20 class was filled with students who had previously been certified, and things moved quickly, but on other days when there were participants with no prior first aid certification, the class had to slow down to ensure everyone learned the potentially lifesaving skills.
For Ben Broder, the Devils and Prudential Center’s director of event presentation, it was important to know that someone on his floor knew what to do in case of an emergency. Broder’s team works on the press level at the arena, which is located high above the concourse. Broder said he wanted to be able to help if anything were to happen.
“The biggest thing I learned, you yourself have to stay calm, and go through the procedure. You can’t panic,” Broder said.
One participant with past training, Lauren Kelley, the Devils marketing and ticket sales manager, felt the training she went through with the firefighters went further than prior certifications, adding “It was nice to do the training with a community partner like the Newark Fire Department.”
Even New Jersey’s favorite mascot took a shot and learning how to save a life. N.J. Devil stopped by a training session on May 5th to visit some of Newark’s greatest fire service personnel. N.J. handed out gifts for the Fire Department and instructors before hoping in a fire truck and posing for pictures with executives and firefighters.
Click Here: More Photos From N.J.'s Visit
N.J. and Jim Crann, Prudential Center and the Devils’ director of security, presented Chief Centanni with a commemorative Devils Jersey to hang at the station.
“What I like about this more, is it’s a Newark product,” said Centanni. “It’s a home-based team and we take a lot of pride in that.”