The Centerville-Washington Park District is teaming up with youth athletic organizations in the community to provide AED (automated external defibrillators) stations for public use in eight community parks 365 days a year. The AEDs will be installed at Activity Center, Forest Field, Iron Horse, Oak Creek South, Oak Grove, Robert F. Mays, Schoolhouse and Yankee Parks this summer.

“It’s a fact – if you suffer a sudden cardiac arrest when visiting a park equipped with an AED, you double your chance of survival,” said Nick Seitz, President of Firefighter Safe, LLC. Firefighter Safe, LLC. is a local company that specializes in providing safety related services, training, and products. By employing local firefighters and paramedics passionate about training, they are able to provide real-life experiences for their clients.

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States with more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occurring outside of a hospital each year. Less than 10 percent of those victims survive. Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Until recently, several factors have prevented the installation of AED’s in outdoor locations such as a public park. Weather, vandalism, and lack of AED training were the leading barriers. Those barriers have been addressed with new technology and increased social awareness.

Thousands of people visit Centerville-Washington Park District parks each week, and many of them are involved in strenuous activity such as athletic games, jogging, biking or other fitness pursuits. “Providing AED’s in parks is another way that we can support our residents in their fitness pursuits and provide a new level of service for our park visitors,” said Ken Carter, Park Operations Manager. “We would like to thank the Centerville United Soccer Association, Centerville Recreational Soccer, Centerville Youth Lacrosse, Centerville Wee Elks Football Organization and the Centerville Baseball/Softball League for their generous contributions and support of our community’s health, wellness and safety.”

June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week, designated to spotlight how more lives could be saved if more Americans knew CPR and proper AED use. In the week’s formal declaration, Congress has asked states and municipalities to make AEDs more publicly accessible. During this week each year, CPR/AED classes and demonstrations are conducted, events are hosted and educational information is distributed on the importance of being trained in CPR and AED use. We encourage you to find out about local events in your area.