School board receives 10 AEDs

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    Jackson County Fire Rescue Chief Charlie Brunner presented 10 automated external defibrillators to the Jackson County School Board Thursday. From the left are Director of Transportation, Health, and Safety Hunter Nolen, Chief Brunner and Jackson County School Board Superintendent Steve Benton.

    The Jackson County School Board is like every other county and municipality with the economy up in the air right now. They are crunched for money for any unexpected expenditures. The government is faced with putting in place regulations to keep our students safe. The Zachary Martin Act requires AEDs (automated external defibrillator) to be at all sporting events (practices and games) brought a new twist to the school board.
    The cost of one AED is approximately $1,000. With five high schools and two middle schools, the school board was faced with having to come up with extra dollars to make this happen. JCFR Chief Charlie Brunner brought a smile to the Board’s face last Thursday afternoon when he donated 10 AEDs to the school board. These were gifted to Brunner’s program from the State EMS office to push out to the community.
    Brunner said the timing is crucial due to legislative changes, “The legislation has changed, requiring an AED at every school sporting event. This was after the south Florida incident where children died. A lot of our rural schools have multiple sports going on in the afternoon, like all your spring sports, softball, baseball, track and spring soccer. As you know, cardiac arrest can happen across any race and any age at any time without warning. By legislation now, you have to have an AED at every practice. So, when these AEDs came up, I work with the State EMS office very closely. These AEDs were purchased during COVID to be placed at testing and vaccination sites throughout the state. Once the state shut down the vaccination sites, they were sent to the warehouse. From there, they decided they would deploy out these AEDs that were only a year old because they didn’t need to sit in the warehouse. So, the State EMS office started with the rural EMS where we needed them the most because it takes a little bit longer for help to get there. From working with Hunter Nolen, I put in for them because there was a need especially after the legislative change to not just having one sitting up at the school or one at the field house, but there had to be one at every event. This was the perfect need and so I asked for them and was given 10. I picked them up in Ocala last Thursday. We are excited to be able to do this. We saw a huge need for these AEDs and we found out about the state giving them away. What better way than to give them to the sports programs for the school board. It’s an awesome win for everyone.”
    Director of Transportation, Health and Safety, Hunter Nolen said, “This is fantastic for our school district. Budget restraints have hit everyone, and we are no exception for sure so to be able to assure our parents that we will have these AEDs accessible at practices and events will be awesome. We thank Chief Charlie Brunner for thinking about us and certainly for this addition to our district”

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