AED Superstore & Simon’s Fund team up to donate AEDs

When March rolls around, college basketball takes center stage in a frenzy of playoffs and championships. What is not uppermost in most people’s minds is the hearts inside the chests of those college players, powering their every move.

Simon’s Fund, a nonprofit raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and death in youth athletes, teamed up with five local Philadelphia university men’s basketball teams and AED Superstore to donate AED devices to five local youth organizations, calling the campaign AED Madness.

AED Madness kicked off on January 25 as the La Salle Explorers played a local rival, the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. During a media timeout, a video of Coach John Giannini explaining the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest played for the audience and then they had the opportunity to choose one of four organizations to receive an AED. The Explorers fans chose to donate an AED to the Shane Victorino Boys and Girls Club.

The following night, January 26, the Drexel University Dragons tipped off against the Hofstra University Willie Pride. During halftime, an announcement was made about the contest allowing the audience to choose one of four organizations to receive an AED Device. The Dragons fans chose to donate an AED to Greenfield Elementary.

The University of Pennsylvania Quakers and their fans had the opportunity to help a local organization on February 12 as they tipped off against Cornell University. A video of coach Steve Donahue explaining the warnings of Sudden Cardiac Arrest prefaced an announcement of the competition. Quakers fans elected to donate a device to Northlight Community Center.

On February 22, the Temple Owls had an opportunity to help an organization in North Philadelphia. Before they tipped off against the University of Central Florida, with the help of Simon’s Fund, they chose to donate a device to the Beckett Life Center. After a video of Coach Phil Dunphy explaining the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest played on the big screen, the donation was announced to the audience.

AED Madness closed as the St. Joseph’s University Hawks hosted Simon’s Fund on March 1st during their final home game of the season against the University of Rhode Island. With the help of the Hawks, Simon’s Fund is donating an AED device to the Rizzo PAL Center in the Port Richmond Area of Philadelphia. The Rizzo PAL Center serves 1,500 kids and teens and the donation was announced to the audience after a video of Coach Phil Martelli explaining the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest played on the big screen.

For any youth organization that does not have an AED, Simon’s Fund and AED Superstore are continuing their partnership to help. is a crowdfunding site started by Simon’s Fund to help organizations start a campaign to raise funds to purchase AEDs. If you know of a youth organization that does not have an AED, please send them to so they can be prepared to protect our kids.



Parents: The Importance Of First Aid Training

Your loved one isn’t breathing.

You are the only person around.

What do you do?

If your gut reaction is to look for someone else, then that is a sign you could benefit from training. Now that reaction isn’t a bad thing; it is a normal reaction to a life-threatening medical situation. Training puts the power back into your own hands so you know that if the worst does happen, no matter where you are or who you are with, you have confidence in your ability to deal with the situation.

The simple fact is, knowing what to do in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life or death for your loved ones. It is natural to think that we can just call an ambulance and they will take care of the situation swiftly. But the reality is, what you do while you wait for paramedics to arrive plays a crucial role in the physical state your loved one is in when they are first attended to by medical staff. That physical state can play a huge role in the recovery of your loved one.

Another big thing to consider is this; you don’t know how long it will take for paramedics to arrive. If your loved one isn’t breathing, then it is crucial to know how to do CPR yourself because you need to be able to do it until paramedics arrive. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to do CPR effectively; your family could be relying on you alone.

We always think these situations won’t happen to us. I thought that, too. I thought it could never happen to me and so, other than mandatory lessons in school, I never upgraded my skills. However, I am in the position to inform you on the importance of training because this situation occurred in my family. It took over seven minutes for paramedics to arrive to assist our son with a defibrillator, and in those seven minutes he was attended to by a person who was recently trained in infant resuscitation.

Basically, a person with CPR training got us to the point where we could have my son treated by a team of medical practitioners. The doctor in charge of treating my son told me that he wouldn’t have even made it to ICU had he not had a trained person working on him; he would have passed away before paramedics were able to attend to him. And in my case, it really underscores the basic importance of training because even then it wasn’t enough. Sadly, my darling son passed away after a 20 day stay in ICU.

While I cannot bring my son back, what I can do is use my experience to raise awareness of the importance of basic training. Because if it were me, and I were alone, I would not have had the skills to handle the situation. I would have panicked. I am sure paramedics could have instructed me over the phone, but due to my lack of training there would have been time wasted. Time is absolutely precious when dealing with an emergency medical situation. You cannot waste it looking for someone who has skills that you can very easily go and learn right now.

Would you know what to do if your child needed help and you were the only person near to provide it? If you answer no to that question, there are thankfully organizations designed to help. The American Red Cross delivers classes in Adult, Child, and Baby First Aid, CPR, and AED. You can study these classes in a traditional lesson or online. Through training, you have the power to make a difference in someone’s life.

Don’t regret not learning something that could save the life of a loved one. Be your family’s superhero – do it for them.

To find a course near you, visit the American Red Cross at

Sarah Bell is a writer based in Seoul. Bell’s writing portfolio is viewable at

Life-saving efforts honored in Williams

Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 9:32 pm

If not for the actions of Williams resident Allen Sheley and Williams Police Officer Daniel Mata, March 15 may have been Deborah Reed’s last on Earth.

Thanks to their heroic actions, however, Reed was alive, well and able to present Sheley and Mata with the Citizen’s and Chief’s Commendation, respectively, on behalf of Chief John Osbourn at last week’s Williams City Council meeting.

“In my 19 years in law enforcement, this is an amazing story,” Osbourn said at the presentation of the Citizen’s and Chief’s Commendation. “Deborah, can you join me up here?”

At Osbourn’s request, Reed rose from the public seating area and joined him, Mata and Sheley in front of the council.

“This is the young woman,” Osbourn said. “And she’s with us today.”

Reed placed the Chief’s Commendation Medal around Mata’s neck.

“Thank you for your service, and thank you for saving me,” Reed said, before embracing the officer.

On that Tuesday afternoon on March 15, Williams police were dispatched to a medical aid call at an apartment complex, but they had a problem: they didn’t know where in the complex the person in need of medical aid was.

“The 911 call came in and was kind of sketchy, in that we weren’t able to determine where this woman was that was in need of help,” Osbourn said. “Ultimately, we were able to get some resources to her, and for a couple of key reasons.”

First among those reasons was that Sheley — who is Reed’s neighbor and the resident manager at their apartment complex — noticed something was amiss next door.

Sheley walked into the neighboring apartment to find Reed turning blue, not breathing, and without a pulse.

“He came next door, found pandemonium, and a woman who was dying,” Osbourn said. “He initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and maintained that until Officer Mata arrived at the scene. Allen communicated the situation, who immediately assumed CPR.”

Mata and Allen performed CPR on Reed for “multiple minutes” until Williams Fire Department personnel arrived on scene, Osbourn said.


Off-duty medics save 2 cardiac arrest victims

Bystander CPR and AEDs helped save a young boy and a runner collapsed in cardiac arrest

Nov 3, 2015

By EMS1 Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — Two off-duty paramedics from Austin-Travis County EMS performed bystander CPR on two separate occasions, possibly saving the lives of a young boy and a runner who suffered cardiac arrest.

Chance Bergstrom was driving on Oct. 26 when he noticed a boy lying face down on the pavement and his mother nearby screaming for help.

Bergstrom jumped out of his car to assist. He identified himself as a medic with ATCEMS and began performing CPR on the boy.

A few minutes later, Sunset Valley Police officers arrived with an AED. Officer J.C. Hall attached the AED to the patient as Bergstrom continued compressions. After two shocks with the AED the boy’s pulse returned. He regained consciousness and was transported to Dell Children’s Hospital.

On Nov. 1 ATCEMS Captain Mark Hawkins had finished his shift when he heard some commotion outside his EMS station. The on-duty crew was gone so Hawkins walked outside and found that a runner from the “Run for the Water” event had collapsed about 50 yards away from the station.

Hawkins started CPR with a bystander and a few minutes later an off-duty firefighter jumped in to help. The team performed several minutes of compressions before an AFD Engine Company arrived with an AED.

After one shock with the AED, the man regained consciousness. The ambulance arrived soon after and Hawkins joined the crew for the transport to the ER.

A father’s life saved by son’s CPR


A father’s life saved by son’s CPR

Community Contributor elizabeth.donofrio

The Gould family had a busy Saturday planned on the night of February 6. Tom was about to take his daughter, Grace, to a friend’s house. Brendan, Tom’s 16-year-old son, was preparing to leave for a school dance; and Tom’s wife, Noreen, was on her way home from the city visiting with a friend.

Right before Tom went to bring Grace to her friend’s house, he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest in his home in Barrington, Ill.

Brendan and Grace immediately called 911, and Brendan began to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on his father.

Brendan had not been trained to do CPR but remained calm as the 911 dispatcher coached him on how to perform it as they waited for emergency responders to arrive. Grace called her mother to notify her and went outside of their home to flag down paramedics, fire and police departments.

Tom went directly into the cardiac catheterization lab at the hospital for emergency intervention to see if there were any blockages in his heart; there were none. Then, Dr. Hetal Gandhi, a cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at Good Shepherd Hospital, along with the rest of the cardiac and critical care teams, immediately instituted a therapeutic hypothermia protocol.

“Research shows in certain cases that therapeutic hypothermia treatment can improve neurological recovery in an unconscious patient with spontaneous circulation after having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest,” says Dr. Gandhi. “This specific treatment helps to protect brain cells and other organs by cooling and re-warming the body temperature.”

After an 11-day stay at Advocate Heart Institute at Good Shepherd Hospital, Tom was ready to go home.

Tom was discharged with new equipment, including an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), otherwise known as a pacemaker, but was able to return home with no residual heart issues, blockage or damage to the heart muscle.

“I believe everyone should at least know hands-on CPR,” says Dr. Gandhi. “Every minute counts, as each minute that passes equates to a 10 percent less chance of survival.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is a lethal condition in which the heart unexpectedly stops beating, causing loss of consciousness and breathing, he says.

“It usually results from electrical disturbance (arrhythmia) in the heart, leading to the loss of its pumping action, causing cessation of oxygen rich blood to the brain and the rest of your vital organs,” Dr. Gandhi adds. “Outside of the hospital, cardiac arrest accounts for an estimated 350,000 deaths each year. Those who survive are at higher risk of neurological damage, such as a hypoxemic brain injury from lack of oxygen.”

“As soon as you see someone collapse, call 911 and begin hands-on CPR (chest compression) immediately until other help arrives,” he says. “By doing this, you can improve the victim’s survival rate by double or triple. The quick action taken by Tom’s son helped to save Tom’s life.”

Due to the swift response of Tom’s son and daughter calling 911 and performing CPR, Tom is able to share his story today.

“I beat the odds-very few patients survive from a sudden cardiac arrest,” says Tom. “I attribute my good fortune to the protection of God, the extraordinary team of first responders from the Barrington Police and Fire Departments and the superb and skilled techs, nurses and doctors at Good Shepherd Hospital who worked tirelessly to help me become a miracle man of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.”

This item was posted by a community contributor. 

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

Teens give girl life-saving CPR on school bus

3:17 p.m. Monday, March 21, 2016 | Filed in: Education

Gwinnett County high school student Ismael Olvera doesn’t feel like a hero, but his younger sister would disagree.

Ismael and a classmate, Rebecca Goodridge, are being credited with using CPR to save the life of his sister, Amayrani.

“I love my brother so much,” Amayrani, 15, said Monday.

Teens give girl life-saving CPR on school bus photo


Amayrani, a freshman at Berkmar High School, wasn’t breathing when it was time for her to get off the school bus Thursday afternoon. Ismael, 16, also a freshman at Berkmar, had already left the bus when Goodridge and the driver alerted him to return.

Ismael said he didn’t feel his sister’s heartbeat. Amayrani was in and out of consciousness. He did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her while Goodridge, 17, a senior at Berkmar, did chest compressions.

“Please wake up! Please wake up!,” Amayrani recalled hearing her brother yell.

Teens give girl life-saving CPR on school bus photo


“I was freaking out,” Ismael said. “I was crying.”

Ismael and Goodridge continued the CPR until paramedics arrived. She was taken to a nearby hospital and released. She’s not entirely sure what prompted the medical emergency, though she said she did not eat lunch that day.

The three students returned to school Monday for the first time since Thursday’s harrowing incident. They spent a part of Monday afternoon at school retelling the story to reporters.

Gwinnett County school officials shared the story as an example of the importance of CPR, which Berkmar High principal Al Taylor said is part of the school’s health curriculum. Ismael said he’s been learning CPR since middle school. Goodridge said she’s been learning CPR from her mother, who is a nurse, and at school. Goodridge recently received a refresher course, Taylor said.

Ismael and Goodridge refused to call themselves heroes for their actions. Ismael said the experience has brought him and his sister “a little bit closer.”

Cops save life of fellow officer at police headquarters

A group of Chicago police officers saved the life of a fellow officer who collapsed at police headquarters late Saturday.

Around 9:55 p.m., a 55-year-old officer was in the lobby of the police headquarters building at 3510 S. Michigan Ave. when he lost consciousness, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department.

The incident happened during shift change, and at least six police officers were in the lobby and came to the aid of the officer, who is a 29-year veteran of the department, police said.

Officer Norma Colon and her partner, Officer Beata Staszewski, had just started their overnight shifts and walked into the building when the officer collapsed in front of them.

Staszewski ran up to him and started chest compressions, while other officers in the lobby called an ambulance, she said.

Officers then used an automated external defibrillator on the officer, and he regained consciousness.

“We were all there, and we worked as a team,” Colon said.

The officer was taken to an area hospital, where his condition stabilized, police said.

Staszewski, who has been with the department for 12 years, said it was her first time performing CPR on a fellow officer.

“It was a great feeling when he came back,” Staszewski said. “We were relieved.”

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune