Representatives with the National Center for Sports Safety, a nonprofit founded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Lemak to help prevent sports injuries, presented two Automated External Defibrillators and two fully-stocked emergency first aid kits to Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department Director Roben Duncan.
Duncan said the city applied to the program in an effort to decrease the number of sports fatalities in Alabama, specifically the number of deaths resulting from sudden cardiac arrest.
“We are grateful for the donations made to our organization to support this program,” said NCSS Executive Director Kathryn Gwaltney. “Each AED unit costs more than $1,500, but it can save a life. It can help both athletes and spectators.”
Gwaltney said according to the American Heart Association, it is estimated that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. Many of these deaths can be prevented if an AED unit is on site and the proper precautions are taken. With the financial support from Altec Inc., the state of Alabama and an anonymous donor, the NCSS program aims to decrease sudden cardiac arrest deaths by 50 percent.
“Our goal with this program is to create sports safety awareness in Alabama communities and prevent as many injuries as possible,” she said. “We are successful if we are able to save at least one life by implementing our program.”
Duncan said the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department will place one AED and first aid kit at Lincoln Park and the other AED and first aid kit at the Lincoln City Center.
“At Lincoln Park, we have a wide variety of youth and adult sports,” she said. “At the Lincoln City Center, we have people who rent the facility, attend arthritis classes and archery classes, use the cardio room, attend special events, and there are children’s groups who use the gym for free play. We also have our organized adult and youth basketball at that facility.”
Duncan said she plans for all the parks and recreation staff and all the coaches to take the NCSS safety course.
“All parks and recreation staff and any coaches who request it can receive AED and CPR training as well by contacting me at 205-763-7777,” said Lincoln Fire & Rescue Department Safety Director Lt. Joshua Vincent.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.