Loud cries and harsh asthmatic breathing resonated through the unoccupied hallway from a student in the restroom. It was a cry of pain.
Recently, a young student was found crying and gasping heavily for air in the vacant restroom. She was having what was found out later to be an anxiety attack. The cries were heard by an employee who called 911 for help. During the wait, students and employees did what they could to help the student out, but it begs the question. LBCC has proper procedures students and employees should use for helping student in emergency situations on campus. Students and employees can learn how to properly aid someone in need of help. According to the human resources department at LBCC, all school employees were given an accident and illness response flow chart packet to follow in case of an emergency during their orientation, when they were hired. But in some cases, employees may have forgotten the information given to them in their initial package and a student is in need now.
In every classroom, an emergency procedure guidelines pamphlet is posted and informs students and employees about earthquakes, emergency phone numbers, general information and evacuation plans, but it doesn’t cover how to deal with students in immediate need.
General first-aid and CPR classes should be offered at the college for students and employees that are free or at least at a discounted price. The classes would increase safety on the campuses and in an emergency situation someone can get the proper help needed until an emergency team is available.
LBCC offers students self-defense classes and nursing students have to take home-aid courses and nursing skill labs so we suggest LBCC offer general safety courses offered to anyone who would like to take them.
LBCC should provide a paid training seminar for all employees or at least full-time employees on how to deal with situations with people who are greatly distressed and also the employees should be trained on how to deal with students or co-workers who have mental or physical issues.
On the student health page of the school website, lbcc.edu/studenthealth/emergency.cfm information is provided on CPR and first-aid training through the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. There is also information on when students should feel it is OK to call for help.
Director of Student Health Services Anita Gibbins said, “Every situation is different so the type of help you can give depends on the situation. Call 911. If any doubt, call 911. I wouldn’t want to guess if it is a panic attack or a heart attack.”
Gibbins said, “If dealing with students with mental-health problems, it is mostly important to soften your voice and not panic. Ask them questions and what can you do to help them.”
Marianne Palacios, a nurse practitioner in the LBCC student health services office, said, “You can help someone by calling for help and asking questions like, ‘What can I do to help?’ Also you can maybe help them loosen stuff off of their neck to help them breathe and maybe use a cold cloth on their forehead or neck to cool them off. But the most important thing is to call for help.”
In case of an emergency, Long Beach Fire Department Station 10 is located at 1417 N. Peterson Ave., near the PCC and Long Beach Fire Department Station 19 is located at 3559 Clark Ave., near the LAC, both less than three-quarters of a mile from the campuses. Both can provide speedy help in case of emergencies.
Remember, you can help save someone’s life.