TSU Honors 9/11 Victims with AED-CPR Training
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Many Americans still vividly remember the tragic events that took place 10 years ago on Sept. 11. Last weekend, several student-athletes from Tennessee State University participated in the Athletes for America Emergency Preparedness Day to honor those who were affected by the tragedy and to prepare for potential emergencies in the future.

"I was driving to TSU that morning and kept hearing on the radio that the World Trade Center had been attacked," said TSU Track & Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice. "I remember that tragic event so clearly."

TSU student-athletes, along with others from local universities, were certified and trained in and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The goal of the Emergency Preparedness Day project was to train and certify Middle Tennessee athletes in AED and CPR. It gave an opportunity for these athletes to learn how to handle any type of natural, manmade or day-to-day emergency.

Several representatives from TSU were in attendance including members of athletic training, men's basketball, softball and track & field. Also, former NFL players were there, including TSU alum Randy Fuller.

Tigerbelle Cierra Joshua became certified and trained last weekend. The sophomore thrower was just nine years old when the tragic events of 9/11 occurred. She remembers the day, as if it was yesterday, sitting in her fourth grade class at McGregor Elementary School on the east side of Detroit.

"We heard an announcement on the intercom for our teachers to turn on the television," said Joshua.

"I remember seeing people running away from buildings and seeing smoke. At the time, I didn't really understand the impact that event had on so many people's lives."

For Joshua, the Emergency Preparedness Day was a chance to honor all of those who had either perished or were affected by the events on that harrowing day. 

"This was a wonderful experience, knowing that I was learning to help others," said Joshua. "You never know when you will need to help save a life. This is just another way to honor those who sacrificed their own lives to save so many others."

Helping student-athletes prepare for life is a mantra at Tennessee State University.

"This event is monumental in what we are trying to do at TSU," noted Associate Athletics Director Valenica Jordan.

"We are trying to give our student-athletes an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. First and foremost, we are helping our athletes become outstanding citizens in our community."

Learning to save a life is helping continue the legacy of those who sacrificed their own life on that grim September day.

Athletes for America is a national network of athletes, sports teams and sports organizations committed to promoting and participating in emergency preparedness awareness and training programs. AFA works with local Fire, Police, EMS and CERT officials to motivate, educate and train young Americans in first responder preparedness programs which include CPR, AED, First Aid and CERT training (Community Emergency Response Team) training. For more information about Athletes for America and its' various projects, visit www.athletesforamerica.com.