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Fundraiser for Solon Fire Department

 

N-Fire-department-fundraiser-Auto-chest-compressionSpaghetti fundraiser and silent auction May 31 for lifesaving equipment

By Judy Reed

When someone you know and love is in cardiac arrest, you want to get them the best help possible. That’s why the Solon Township Fire Department is holding an all you can eat spaghetti dinner and silent auction at Big Boy, on Tuesday, May 31, from 5-8 p.m., to raise money for new equipment that will help save lives. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children.

In 2016, there were more than 350,000 instances of sudden cardiac arrest (outside of hospitals), according to the American Heart Association. About 46 percent had CPR performed on them by a bystander, and only 12 percent survived. That might not sound like a high number, but it’s a number that’s climbed over the last several years, thanks to new lifesaving equipment available to paramedics that will automatically do chest compressions. And Solon Township Fire and Rescue is trying to raise money to buy the equipment to treat people locally.

Algoma and Kent City have the equipment, and Cedar Springs purchased it earlier this year after doing a fundraiser. Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser said they were first introduced to it by Algoma Fire, who helped them on a call. “It’s an amazing piece of equipment and will help save lives,” he said.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, the equipment is about $15,000. They have received a $2,500 donation, and have also applied for a grant through Lowe’s.

Administering manual CPR is not easy work. It calls for 120 chest compressions a minute, and involves several paramedics. The new equipment would bring that number down.

According to Drake, automatic chest compression devices save precious amounts of time, manpower, and increase a patient’s survival rate substantially. They are safe and efficient tools that standardize chest compressions during cardiac arrest and are in accordance with the latest scientific guidelines developed by the American Heart Association.

One case where they had to use manual CPR occurred in February. The woman’s husband later thanked Solon first responders at a township board meeting. Tom Decker praised the responders for their efforts when his wife, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, collapsed in their home. He began to do chest compressions, and then Solon Fire responded within minutes and took over. They eventually got her heart beating again, and she was sent to the hospital.

“Sadly she did not regain consciousness and passed away on the evening of the second (of February),” wrote Tom. “That was God’s will, not our first responders. At my request, they did everything possible in their efforts to save her. They were obviously well trained, dedicated, driven, and efficient, yet compassionate and understanding…I do want them to know how grateful I will always be for their service to my wife. Even though I don’t know them, they are my heroes.”

Getting the equipment to do automatic chest compressions will help the rescue workers in cases such as Mrs. Decker’s, and others.

You can help by attending the all you can eat spaghetti dinner and silent auction. Some of the items being auctioned off include a TV, Tiger baseball tickets (10th row), Whitecaps tickets, and a $25 Dairy Queen gift card.

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