SUNY Cortland Earns Red Cross Award

SUNY Cortland Earns Red Cross Award


The College has been named one of the top 10 providers of safety certifications in upstate New York by the American Red Cross.

SUNY Cortland certifies hundreds of students and community members each year in water safety instruction (WSI) classes, as well as automated external defibrillator (AED), CPR and responding to emergencies and first aid courses. 

The Red Cross’ territory of upstate New York spans west to east from Buffalo to Albany and north to south from Plattsburgh to Poughkeepsie. That area counts 800 aquatics centers, including schools, state parks, county and village pools, water parks, YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and any other facility with a pool.

Lifeguard certifications at SUNY Cortland are offered every semester and water safety instruction classes (WSI) are offered in the fall, with an average of 30 to 40 people certified each year.

“You never know where you might be when you need that certification,” said Corey Ryon, a lecturer in the Health and Physical Education departments. “You see things in the news all the time about people collapsing.”

Ryon alone does more than 300 certifications a year. Matthew Nuesell, assistant director of recreational sports, Brian Tobin, head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, and Helene Schmid, lecturer in the Physical Education Department, assist in other certification classes as well.

Schmid was given an award by the American Red Cross for becoming a Water Safety Instruction Trainer in 2018.

Many students at the College are involved in athletics or education. Students in certain majors are required to be CPR and first aid certified. For physical education and health majors, lifeguard certification is often a bonus.

“Look at getting certified, regardless of your major, even if it is just CPR and AED training, because you will never know when you may need it,” Ryon said.

For more information on how to receive these certifications, contact Ryon, Nuesell, Tobin, or Schmid or visit the Central New York chapter of the American Red Cross online.

Prepared by Communications Office writing intern Skyeler Paparteys

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