Kiwanis places AEDs in every school

Kiwanis places AEDs in every school
Kiwanis places AEDs in every school | Martin Kiwanis Club, Automated External Defibrillators
When five school children from Houston, TX went into sudden cardiac arrest and only one of them could be saved, Martin Kiwanis Club members were sparked to action to ensure that such a tragedy never occurred in Weakley County schools. At the suggestion of Kiwanis member Linda Ramsey, the three-district area of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are working on a project to place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in each area school. “We wanted to do a project that everyone in the district could identify with,” Kiwanis member Misty Menees explained. “The district project hopes to get the devices in all the schools over the next 10 years.” Each AED costs $1,400 and Martin Middle School was the first school in Weakley County to receive one. Over the summer, the Kiwanis Club will work on obtaining AEDs for Westview, Martin Elementary and Sharon School and, at some point, all the county schools will be equipped with the unit. The Wal-Mart Foundation funded the Martin Elementary unit and the Martin Medical Center has donated money to jumpstart the fund raising efforts for the unit at Martin Primary School and First State Bank in Sharon is helping purchase a unit for Sharon School. The AED is not intended to save a life in the event of a heart attack, but if sudden cardiac arrest occurs and the heart stops beating, the unit will monitor the body and choose to either give a shock or not, but it is not intended to be primarily just a shock machine. It is a “smart machine” that is able to make a decision of what to do for a person if sudden cardiac arrest occurs. Each year over 250,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest before they are able to reach a hospital, but when the unit is used, survival rates grow to 90 percent as opposed to five percent when the unit is not used. Menees called the Martin Fire Department in the hope of seeking help in teaching and training area schools how to use the unit and was met with overwhelming support. During teacher in-service, Jamie Summers of the MFD will train the teachers in CPR and use of the unit. In addition, the Martin Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy has purchased a unit and will train with it. “This is a joint venture with the community,” Menees said. “Other clubs in the district are also doing this in McKenzie, Union City, Dyersburg, Jackson, Paris and South Fulton. Now, we’re hoping that businesses will partner with us.” “I’m really excited about the help we’re getting,” she added. “The biggest obstacle was worrying about help, but I talked to the fire department and they were ready to help. The best part of this project is having their support and the support of the CPA program.” To get involved or make a donation, contact Misty Menees at 514-7289 or visit the Kiwanis web site at http://www.martinkiwanisclub.org.

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