America’s Healthiest Hometown:  Recently, the Daily Sun has been publishing articles on this topic, and it is also a new major thrust by The Villages developer.  New hospital and clinic construction, change of ownership of our regional hospital, and relocation of the ShandsCair helicopter are highly visible.  But there are additional, less visible, steps on the road to “healthiest”.

Neighborhood AED Teams: The VHA has gifted some automatic external defibrillators (AED’s) in recreation centers.  But several groups of Villages volunteers have also worked to establish AEDs in their own residential neighborhoods.

AED’s may be useful in cases of cardiac arrest where the heart has stopped pumping but there is still a detectable electrical signal.  Although the AED automates signal detection and provides the shock, CPR chest compression is needed until the volunteer arrives with the unit.   Time is critical, and even a fast paramedic response of 5 to 8 minutes may be too late.  So, in this plan, several AEDs are located within a small neighborhood and a team of 20 or so volunteers is trained to use the unit AND to give CPR chest compression.

Following a 911 call, a volunteer nearest to the closest AED grabs the unit, while a volunteer nearest the patient begins chest compression.  When the paramedics arrive, they take over.

The North Woodbury AED Group is working to establish three AEDs in Unit 51 in the Village of Woodbury.  Roughly speaking, Unit 51 is bounded by Belle Meade Circle, Ashley Meadows Golf Course, Phillips Villas, and Argyle Street.  Although still in the planning stages, the group has met with The Villages Fire/Rescue Department who have provided advice and initial instruction on organizing an AED group.

By the time this article appears, they will have hosted a Unit 51-wide potluck dinner at Mulberry Grove Rec Center with a neighborhood AED presentation.  Assuming enough support was indicated, they will sign up the AED/CPR volunteers and complete gathering donations to fund the AED installations and maintenance.

If you live in Woodbury Unit 51, want to participate but didn’t know about this effort, please contact me by email, and I will put you in touch with the group’s treasurer.  If you don’t live in that unit but want to explore the idea in your neighborhood, please contact The Villages Public Safety Department at (352) 205-8280.

Karl Arps, Vice President
(920) 285 – 1382