CHANNAHON — Residents of a Channahon senior community can breathe a little easier, thanks to a special donation made last week.
On April 12, first responders from Minooka and Channahon presented residents of Remington Woods with their own automated external defibrillator, or AED. Cindy Wilson, fire and life safety education coordinator for Channahon and Minooka fire protection districts, was one of the donors, along with Minooka Officer Michael Lazzari. Wilson said the donation came as result of a request from a resident.
"He was concerned that with all of the seniors in Remington Woods, if it would be a good idea to have one in the recreation center," Wilson said. "Many of the seniors gather at the rec center for meetings, game night and other events, so I did some research."
Wilson said that AEDs can play a role in survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
"It basically shocks the heart, hopefully putting it back into its normal rhythm," she said. "It increases their survival rate if it's put on in the first few minutes (after cardiac arrest)."
She said that residents were unable to pool funds for the AED, which can run from $700 to more than $1,000.
"I just went to our fire chief and he thought it was great," she said. "Everybody just wanted to chip in."
Volunteers and first responders from Channahon Fire Protection District, Channahon Police Department and Channahon's Citizens Police Academy alumni pooled funds to purchase the equipment.
After the donation, Wilson installed the new AED in a central place in the recreation center — the kitchen. She said the addition will go a long way in serving residents.
"It kind of provides them with a peace of mind knowing it's available," she said.
Remington Woods resident Jackie Enk said the AED was a surprise, and one that is welcomed by the community.
"We think it's a great present," she said.
Enk recalled a past incident that had occurred in the recreation center — a man suffered a heart attack at a meeting. The man survived, she said, but it would have been helpful to have on hand.
"We could have used it at that time," she said. "It would have helped."
Beyond the donation of the AED, Wilson said residents can also sign up for CPR and AED training. Enk said about 20 people have already signed up.
Enk said the community of about 170 residents is happy with the donation, and also with their strong relationship with their local first responders.
"We've been very pleased with the fire department and police department," she said.