Over the last eight months, the Nassau County PAL has been working with John and Karen Acompora - along with their organization, the Louis J. Acompora Foundation, to bring forward a program designed to protect the lives of the children it serves. "An AED on Every Field" is an initiative designed to place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at every field or gym where its children are engaged in sporting activities.
AEDs have saved the lives of at least a dozen children statewide in the last year. AEDs deliver an electric charge to a patient whose heart has stopped beating regularly and has entered a stage called ventricular fibrillation. This is a true emergency and without intervention will result in death. Though the chances of a child going into ventricular fibrillation are slim, should the scenario occur, having an AED present greatly increases the chance of that child's survival.
The Hicksville unit now has four AED units, which are currently being used to protect the children in the lacrosse program. PAL has one AED always available at its home field at Old Country Road School. The other three are being used for away games and practices.
PAL will have access to these AEDs for its baseball and basketball programs and is hoping to be able to purchase additional units to cover as many children as possible on all the playing fields and gyms. PAL offers free AED/CPR training for all the coaches and has mandated that all lacrosse teams have at least one coach or assistant coach trained.
If you would like further information or if you would like to help PAL acquire additional AEDs, contact either Pam Geslak, Hicksville PAL, call at 935-7214; visit Laxcoach7@aol.com, or P.O. Director George McLaren at 426-6830.