WILMINGTON-On the same day that American Heart Association volunteers from points far and wide in New York came to Albany to convince their legislators of the merits of CPR instruction in schools, they also honored a 30-plus-year volunteer with the organization.
"We named Bob Elling our New York State Advocate of the Year for his efforts to advance our public policy agenda," Michael Weamer, executive vice president, Founders Affiliate, American Heart Association, said. "This year, Bob is a driving force behind our efforts to make sure that all students learn CPR prior to graduation. Bob has been a tireless advocate for the AHA. He has met with lawmakers, recruited numerous volunteers and regularly been the face of the AHA in the media."
Elling, who is a Clinical Instructor at Albany Medical Center working as a paramedic instructor at Hudson Valley Community College, also is a medic with Colonie EMS, and at Whiteface Mountain. He has authored several textbooks for paramedic students, often collaborating with his wife, paramedic Kirt Elling.
Elling lives in Colonie and has a residence in Lake Placid.
"I've always enjoyed working with the AHA staff and volunteers," Elling, who received the award on March 14, said. "We're all in this to save lives. Teaching others to be EMTs and paramedics saves lives, but changing the laws will have the greatest impact on prevention. If everyone who graduates from high school learns CPR, we can be assured that the general public knows what to do if someone collapses with sudden cardiac arrest in front of them."
Elling has volunteered with the American Heart Association for 35 years, as a CPR and Advanced Life Support instructor, on the regional faculty and national faculty. He serves on the Capital Region Advisory Board and the New York State Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee of the American Heart Association.