Spruce Mountain HS receives portable defibrillator

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JAY — The Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation has donated an automated external defibrillator to Spruce Mountain High School.

The device will be made available at school athletic events.

Automated external defibrillators are portable electronic devices that automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac conditions and treat them through defibrillation — the application of electricity that stops irregular heart beats and re-establish regular rhythm.

AEDs are designed to be used by nonmedical people, and are controlled by simple audio and visual commands.

Jenna Winokur, founder of the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation, said athletic trainer Jeremy Starbird had discussed the needs of the SMHS sports teams. Starbird had mentioned the school did not have a portable AED.

“The (Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation) was happy to fill this need for the school,” Winokur said, “as it’s really important to have an AED that can be brought outside to the sports fields.”

Starbird explained that it will be helpful for him to have the portable device given the distances between athletic fields, especially when several games are in progress at the same time.

“Obviously, you never want to have to use it, but with fields so spread out and baseball and football being off campus, it’s pretty important,” he said. “To have that is invaluable.”

A 2011 graduate of Jay High School, Jake Lord was a star athlete. As a result of head injuries suffered while playing school sports, he died by suicide later that year. Winokur, Jake’s sister, created the Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation to honor his memory and make playing sports safer.

The foundation’s mission is to promote safety in youth sports, to increase public awareness of the impact of concussions on the mental health of athletes and to promote public policies that will protect youth from the devastating consequences of head injuries.

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Spruce Mountain High School now has a portable automated external defibrillator for use at sports events. The Jake Lord Play It Safe Foundation has donated the electronic device. Shown above, from left: SMHS athletic director Marc Keller, Jenna Winokur of the JLPISF and SMHS athletic trainer Jeremy Starbird. (Barry Matulaitis/Livermore Falls Advertiser)

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