TAMPA , Fla., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rotary Club of Tampa and the Tampa Police Department today announced a joint effort aimed at helping to save lives through Rotary Project Lifesaver, an initiative in which the club has set a goal of raising at least $100,000 to buy and deploy portable heart defibrillators in patrol cars during 2014 – the club's 100th anniversary.
Statistics from the City of Tampa's emergency response units show that city public safety personnel responded to 288 cardiac arrest calls last year and answered 303 in 2012.
"With that kind of need in Tampa, we feel the project to provide defibrillators to the Tampa Police Department can really save lives," said Wayne Critcher, president of the Rotary Club of Tampa. "Research shows many of these incidents happen in emergency situations in which police units may be the first responders. We are proud to announce our plan to donate defibrillators at no charge to TPD as we celebrate our club's 100th anniversary this year."
"Police officers are often the first on scene when people are suffering from cardiac arrest, and a matter of moments can mean life or death," commented Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor. "All of us at TPD are sincerely grateful for this joint initiative with the Rotary for donating these critically important devices. There's no doubt that their vision and efforts will save lives."
PUBLIC MAY HELP WITH DONATIONS
While Rotary Project Lifesaver is being funded primarily by Rotarians as part of the club's 100th anniversary celebration, the public, families, foundations, businesses and organizations may make donations to help have an AEDs placed in patrol cars. Please visit http://www.rotarycluboftampa.org/lifesaver if you wish to donate to Project Lifesaver through the Rotary Club of Tampa Foundation. All donations are tax deductible.
BILL GILLEN LEADS THE PROJECT
The planning and execution of the club's AED donation project was led by Rotarian William A. Gillen Jr., a former Rotary Club president and leading Tampa attorney. Gillen worked closely with the Tampa Police Department's leadership to develop plans to streamline the delivery and deployment of the AEDs in patrol units.
After a six-month, thorough review of the technology and its application in emergency situations in the outdoor tropical environment, along with examination of the experience of other public safety agencies, the Rotary Club chose Altra Medical of Pinellas Park (www.altramedical.com) from which the AEDs will be purchased.
Gillen said he anticipates the first AEDs will be received from Altra Medical this month, and will be immediately placed in patrol cars to be ready for use in sudden cardiac arrest situations.
More major gifts, events and positive impact are planned by Tampa Rotarians as the club continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary on through the next year.
TAMPA ROTARY CLUB HISTORY
Founded in April 1914 with 17 charter members, today the Rotary Club of Tampa has more than 150 members. Over the past century, the club has spawned creation of another 46 Rotary Clubs in the Tampa region, expanding its influence for good beyond measure.
Rotary was founded in Chicago in 1905, and the Rotary Club of Tampa was the 117th Rotary Club in the world in 1914. The local club helped to charter the first Rotary Club in a non-English-speaking nation in Havana, Cuba. The worldwide expansion trend continued, and now there are more than 35,000 Rotary Clubs in the world with membership totaling more than 1.2 million.
SOURCE Rotary Club of Tampa