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TOM Project Enhances Campus Safety with Expanded AED Program


The TOM project was launched in 2020 in honor of Florida State University student Tom Idowu. Photo courtesy of FSU Student Government Association
The TOM Project was launched in 2020 in honor of Florida State University student Tom Idowu. Photo courtesy of FSU Student Government Association.
The TOM Project is a Florida State University health initiative launched in 2021 in memory of Florida State University student Toluwani "Tom" Idowu, who passed away suddenly in 2020 at the age of 22 due to a sudden cardiac arrest while on a run near campus.

“I’m so grateful to the FSU community and to God that a way was made for The TOM Project to be sustainable. This has been a key part to my consolation, that through this project, another might have the hope of life.” Tom’s mother, Cathy Idowu said.

In his memory, FSU's Congress of Graduate Students (COGS), led by Chris Hagemeyer, established The TOM Project, a $200,000 initiative to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on campus. The TOM Project deployed 52 new devices, representing a 63% increase on the Tallahassee/Main Campus. Before The TOM Project, AEDs were purchased and managed internally on a department-by-department basis. The project centralized the management and maintenance of AEDs through Facilities.

"A project of this magnitude and pertinence requires unparalleled teamwork and communication. It brings me so much joy to see the University and Facilities team's commitment to sustaining and growing this project," PhD Candidate in Biomedical Sciences Chris Hagemeyer said. "It has truly made our campus a safer place for all. These kinds of efforts make Tom and myself proud to be Florida State Seminoles."

The TOM Project is entering its second phase in 2024, which will have enhanced scalability and management practices. As part of this phase, 24 AEDs have been replaced with newer models, and eight buildings will receive AED coverage in fiscal year 2024-2025 that previously didn't have it. A total of 29 additional units are slated to be replaced in fiscal year 2024 - 2025.

Several factors contribute to the placement of AEDs, including proximity to surrounding buildings with AEDs, the building's square footage, whether high-intensity exercises take place in or around the building, building access in case of emergency medical response, foot traffic, and high-risk individuals using the building.

AEDs are placed in highly trafficked areas of most buildings.
AEDs are placed in highly trafficked areas of most buildings.

The locations within buildings were selected based on familiarity and accessibility to individuals, such as first-floor elevators and atriums. For Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, AEDs must be placed in unobstructed areas with a handle no more than 48 inches above the ground.

Multiple Facilities groups contribute to successfully managing and expanding the AED program on Florida State University's campus via The TOM Project. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) provides guidance on placement considerations and compliance. The Facilities Preventative Maintenance (PM) team tracks the replacement of consumable parts, such as batteries and pads, on a five-year cycle as specified by the manufacturer. The team conducts quarterly inspections on the units, inspects batteries and pads, and places necessary work orders using the AiM work management system. The Facilities PM is the custodian of The TOM Project AEDs and communicates any concerns or observations with EH&S.

Facilities PM teams perform a quarterly inspection on an AED unit.
Facilities PM teams perform a quarterly inspection on an AED unit.

Finally, Buildings Services conducts monthly visual checks along with their monthly fire extinguisher checks. They ensure the device has a green check mark which indicates the device is untampered with and operational. Inspection tags are filled out accordingly.

"As we enter the next phase of The TOM Project, it is important to recognize the all-hands in effort from multiple FSU Facilities groups," Interim Director of Facilities Operations Daniel Sheets said. "Collaboration was crucial in assuring successful program implementation and operation. The scheduled checks performed by the PM teams and Building Services ensure the program's longevity. We thank FSU's Congress of Graduate Students for partnering with us in this important initiative."

Components for the AEDs deployed under The TOM Project are replaced every five years, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining a modern and effective AED program. The university has prioritized upkeep and maintenance as older models age, ensuring the program's longevity. Facilities is actively working with the Student Government Association to continuously monitor and manage the AED program’s funding, reaffirming our campus community's dedication to honoring Tom's legacy and enhancing campus safety.