Westwood High School receives defibrillator from Rep. Jenn Hill



Journal Staff Writer

ISHPEMING — State Rep. Jenn Hill handed off a portable automatic external defibrillator, or AED, to Westwood High School on Friday to protect student-athletes, staff, faculty and area residents in the case of a cardiac emergency.

Hill’s handoff of the AED to NICE Community Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine is in conjunction with newly signed Public Acts 36 and 37. These require an AED to be accessible within one to three minutes during a cardiac emergency and protect good Samaritans who render cardiopulmonary resuscitation to another individual from being prosecuted.

“To have this preventative kind of care is so essential,” Hill said. “I’m really proud that we could partner with the NFL Foundation and, in addition, Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills player who had a heart attack on the field.”

In observence of the new law, the NFL donated 50 AEDs for Michigan legislators to distribute.

“We’re very happy to have this portable AED device available to our kids and our staff and any visitors that come,” said DeAugustine. “It’ll be great to have one outside at different athletic events or if we have an event that happens outside the buildings. Then, if something were to go wrong, we wouldn’t have to run in and grab the one we have inside.”

On a state level, these bills were spurred by the death of 18-year-old Cartier Woods. Woods was a Detroit Northwestern High School athlete who died a week after he suffered cardiac arrest during a basketball game. While he received CPR, no AED was present on the scene.

“It turns out that approximately 2,000 young people under the age of 25 a year in the United States have sudden cardiac arrest,” Hill said. “Having these devices available immediately within five minutes is going to help save people’s lives.”

NICE nurse Andrea Korpi underscored Hill’s statement.

“For students that have Wolf-Parkinson-White (syndrome) or an underlying heart condition that might not be diagnosed, the first sign of any issue is sudden cardiac death,” she said. “So it’s important to have an AED on campus.

“If they go through one of these events, we can shock their heart back into a sustainable rhythm, get them to the doctor (and) get them the health and care they need, because some of them are undiagnosed. They don’t even know they have this condition until it’s too late.”

Hill also stopped at the Marquette Alger RESA to donate an AED to its Superior Shores Educational Program.

More information about the laws can be found at legislature.mi.gov. Public Act 36 is also known as House Bill 5527 and Public Act 37 is also known as House Bill 5528.

Alexandria Bournonville can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 506. Her email address is abournonville@miningjournal.net.


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