Campaign for Lifesaving Equipment Launched

First and utmost an AED task force is wanting to see that every school in the Nacogdoches Independent School District receives an automated external defibrillator. It can shock the heart into rhythm. Second they want heart safe schools. Chairman Lisa King explained, "Not only is the school getting the AED, they're getting education. They're getting CPR classes. They're getting AED training that they need."

Tenet Healthcare Foundation and Nacogdoches Medical Center hospital presented a $2,000 check toward the cause. The funds are earmarked to purchase a defibrillator for McMichael Middle School, the same school that Kevin Wallace attended before his unexpected death following a football practice. Medical Center CEO Gary Stokes said, "The incident at McMichael Middle School last year brought an awareness to the hospital. They did not have a defibrillator on site and so we thought it would be a great extension to try and move this project and McMichael was the first school that came to mind because of the tragedy there."

Following the incident some schools in Nacogdoches County quickly purchased their own AED. King said, "Next week our task force members are going out on Tuesday to Douglass to instruct the teachers on AED and CPR training to get theirs initiated because they have purchased some themselves already. I know Woden has one and Central Heights has one." The goal is to have one or more AED's in all Nacogdoches schools by next spring.

On Wednesday at the Nacogdoches Rotary meeting the AED Task Force will provide a demonstration of how a defibrillator is used. Information on how to donate or volunteer will also be provided.