Rockland Community College is one of nearly 75 colleges, universities and community colleges — and about 30 high schools — across the country to join a new initiative to cut down on the number of students sickened or killed by alcohol poisoning.
The Red Watch Band was created at SUNY Stony Brook after the son of a longtime faculty member died last year at another university from acute alcohol poisoning. The initiative is designed to give students information on alcohol poisoning — its signs and symptoms — along with step-by-step instructions on what to do if they suspect someone of having consumed a toxic amount of drink.
According to information provided by Stony Brook, 1,700 college students die each year from alcohol-realted injuries, most of them unintentional, and 30,000 college students require medical treatment each year for alcohol overdoses.
The program focuses on a four-hour training program that adds basic medical response information including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training. It is not an abstinence or Good Samaritan Law program. Students interested in the training are volunteers.
RCC is one of five community colleges to sign up for the project, along with Wayne County Community College in Michigan, Broome County Community College in New York, Southern Maine Community College and Macomb Community College in Georgia.
Among the four-year universities on board are Elon University, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, William and Mary College, Boston University, Vassar, Brandeis Unversity and the University of South Florida.
It is called the Red Watch Band because of the “band” of students who are trained to “watch” over one another, along with the motto: Every Second Counts.
For more information or to start a program at a local college, visit www.redwatchband.org