By Ally Garbe of the Press-Citizen
May 2, 2016 began as any day would at Northland Community School in Remer, although it didn’t end that way.
While assisting a group of third graders in gym, para-professional Jamie Kendall collapsed in cardiac arrest. One student left to get help. Principal Clayton Lindner called 911 while a few staff members, all certified EMTs, responded with their HeartSine AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in hand and began CPR on Kendall.
While waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Kendall needed more than CPR. Her co-workers recognized it was time to use the AED; this decision was key to saving Kendall’s life.
On March 14, 2018 Paul Mendoza from Advanced First Aid Inc., visited Northland to donate to a new HeartSine AED to Kendall and present awards to the staff who were instrumental in assisting Kendall on what could have been her last day. Those individuals are Shem Daugherty, Carol Procopio, Lori Sizenbach and Jennifer Welk. Amie Hanson also assisted Kendall, but no longer works at Northland.
Less than a week before Kendall’s experience, Welk and Sizenbach had discussed their AED and found it was time to order a new unit.
“Looking back, it was so astounding,” Sizenbach commented, “We ordered from Paul on Wednesday, installed on Friday and used it Monday.”
After every use, batteries and pads of AEDs must be replaced. In life-saving situations, HeartSine and Advanced First Aid work together by donating these items. “This is what we do, giving back to the community,” Mendoza remarked. This was the first entire AED unit to be donated by the companies.
“Anyone can use an AED,” Welk mentioned. “All you need to do is follow the instructions, and ultimately you just have to be courageous enough to recognize the need and do it.”
Northland Community School now have three HeartSine AEDs, two in the school and one that travels to games and events with students, all checked regularly.