Brooklyn Family Pushes For NYPD To Learn CPR
The family of a Brooklyn girl who died two years ago urged lawmakers at the State Capitol on Tuesday to pass a bill that would require an increase in CPR training for New York City police officers. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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In August 2010, 11-year-old Briana Ojeda suffered an asthma attack. As she went into cardiac arrest, her mother, Carmen Ojeda, waved down a nearby NYPD officer and begged him to perform CPR.
The officer didn't even try and Briana died shortly thereafter.
On Tuesday, Briana's family discussed with the Albany legislature a bill that would increase the number of CPR courses taken by NYPD officers.
"This is extremely hard," Carmen said. "I am putting one foot in front of the other on a daily basis. I am just trying to move forward for her."
Currently, officers receive CPR training at the police academy. However, supporters of the bill argue that more refresher courses need to be mandated.
"Studies have shown that those who are trained quickly forget the details of how to perform CPR, even doctors and nurses," said Dr. Arthur Meltzer, an advocate for an increase in mandated courses.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, would require continuously updated training, similar to the protocol for firearms.
"You have police officer training on how to shoot more efficiently but not how to save lives more effectively," Ortiz said.
Following allegations of police abuse and misconduct, the letters C, P and R were added to city police cars in the late '90s. Local leaders pointed out that the letters stand for “courtesy, professionalism and respect.”
"How ironic it is that on the side of every vehicle in New York City there are the letters C-P-R, yet the men and women who ride in those vehicles don't know how to perform CPR," says State Sen. Eric Adams of Brooklyn.
Assembly and Senate leaders are currently reviewing the bill.
A spokesman for the NYPD says officers already receive updated CPR training.
Paramedics and doctors say that in most cases when they are able to save the life of someone who has gone into cardiac arrest, someone at the scene had already been performing CPR. In other words, increased training will help save more lives.