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August 27, 2013 - A Law Enforcement Academy student at Eastern Florida State College collapsed and died Tuesday morning after a physical conditioning run on the college’s Melbourne campus.
Mohamed S. Hassen Jr., 26, of Port St. John, was pronounced dead at Wuesthoff Hospital in Melbourne after attempts to revive him failed.
“All of us at Eastern Florida State College are deeply saddened at the loss of one
of our students, Mohamed Hassen, Jr.” said college president, Dr. Jim Richey. “Our
thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Hassen was part of a new class of recruits in their second day of class at the academy, which is part of the college’s Public Safety Institute.
They were participating in a series of events called Physical Abilities Assessment that are used to determine a student’s physical condition.
The first exercise is a 1.5 mile run where students have the option to jog or walk, and which is set for the cooler part of the day. The students are also told to stop if they feel ill.
The students began the run about 8:55 a.m. after a 10-minute warm up. Hassen jogged and walked the course around the campus’s soccer field, and appeared to be struggling as he neared the end.
He was helped at the finish line and showed signs of distress. He was immediately assisted by two members of the Titusville Police Department who were there watching the recruits.
Hassen’s breathing became shallow and the two officers laid him down and began performing CPR while other academy personnel called 911.
Melbourne Fire Department EMT’s were on the scene within minutes and continued to treat Hassen en route to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Physical Abilities Assessment program is a standard part of the academy’s training program and follows safety guidelines written and approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The guidelines are discussed with students and include information about the importance of hydration during physical conditioning. Hydration was discussed with students Monday in advance of Tuesday’s exercise, and again before Tuesday’s run began.
Students are also told they should undertake the run at their own pace and water is provided on the course. Emergency personnel are also stationed at the course.
All law enforcement recruits must undergo a mandatory physical exam conducted by a medical doctor prior to acceptance into the academy. Hassen passed his exam.
As part of the exam, the physician talks with the student about the academy’s physical requirements.
Hassen was married and the father of two children.
Melbourne Police are conducting an investigation into the death and the college is cooperating fully.
The college will also provide counseling services for students, faculty and staff
starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Building 8, Room 119, on the Melbourne campus.