Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hearty Donation Buys More AEDs

Thanks to the generosity of a North Naples couple and an ongoing partnership with the American Heart Association, every Collier County Sheriff’s Office patrol car will soon be equipped with a lifesaving AED.

Fritz and Kathy Friday recently donated $300,000 to the American Heart Association and designated that the money be used to buy automated external defibrillators, batteries and pads for CCSO patrol cars. The donation will pay for the purchase of 200 additional AEDs for the agency.

Many of the agency’s existing 339 AEDs are already assigned to the Patrol Unit. Reaching the 100 percent mark in the division is a goal that CCSO and the Heart Association have been working toward for the past five years. Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk believes that having an AED in every car, along with a deputy trained to use it, will enhance public safety.

“It means that help will be as close as the nearest deputy for anyone who has gone into sudden cardiac arrest,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “This enhancement to public safety was made possible through the partnership of the American Heart Association and generous donors like Kathy and Fritz Friday.”

AEDs are portable electronic devices that treat sudden cardiac arrest by using electrical therapy to re-establish an effective heart rhythm.

For a patient suffering from cardiac arrest, every minute that passes without cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation reduces the chances of survival by 7 percent to 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association.

Most of CCSO’s AEDs were purchased through the agency’s partnership with the American Heart Association and donations that have been made at the organization’s annual Heart Balls.

The Fridays know the value of AEDs firsthand. Kathy Friday went into sudden cardiac arrest while working out at Quail West Country Club three years ago. Her personal trainer revived her with the help of an AED.

Commissioners on Tuesday proclaimed June 1-7 as Kathy and Fritz Friday CPR and AED week in Collier County. The local event coincides with National CPR & AED Awareness Week.

Click here to watch our video about a CCSO deputy and the woman whose life he saved with an AED.

Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk, left, thanks Fritz and Kathy Friday, right, for their generous donation of $300,000 to the American Heart Association for the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for CCSO patrol cars during Tuesday's Collier County Commission meeting. Commissioners issued a proclamation designating June 1-7 as Kathy and Fritz Friday CPR and AED week in Collier County. Photo by Natalie Felber/CCSO