LSHA Defib Photo Op "Great for Exposure" – Not Great for Safety – Recipients Leave Empty Handed
Posted Feb. 10, 2016 12:26 pm
Manager Jack Berry (file photo)
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – The Lake Shore Hospital Authority (LSHA) put out calls for the latest recipients of the Authority's public benevolence, the School District and the County, to show up for Monday's February 8 monthly meeting for a defibrillator "photo op," and they did. While the Authority had taken receipt of the defibrillators, the recipients left empty-handed. Mario Coppock, the County's Recreation Director, was headed back to the Richardson Rec Center for the AAU Basketball tryouts. It was a good thing nobody had a heart attack.
January 26, 2016: The School Board
On January 26, Barbara Lemley advised the School Board that the enabling legislation of the LSHA was to care for the indigent.
School Board Attorney Guy Norris commented on Ms. Lemley's remarks. He said, "I would simply observe that we have no shortage in this school district of indigent families with students in our district. From the standpoint of your concern that it's not going toward indigent health care, it may well -- we don't know."
Your reporter, who is a resident and taxpayer in Columbia County asked the Board to apply for the available grant money for the defibrillators and instead use the LSHA money to hire reading tutors for the indigent students, which would help pull them out of indigence, and mentioned that a few years ago, 64% of the students coming out of the Richardson Middle School could not read at grade level.
Stephanie Finnell, a school board member since 2012 told the Board, "Everybody knows what I do. I'm a nurse practitioner. I save lives every day. If we did not approve that we could lose a life tomorrow."
Ms. Finnell added, "If we could afford to pay somebody to write grants -- for AED (automatic electronic defibrillator) -- then we can afford to have somebody to write grants for reading... our learning environment is about safety and their health."
The 2015 Columbia County School District budget was $86.2 million.
The District Had Not Reported the AED Location to 911
Ms. Finnell was non-pulsed by the failure of the district to report the location of the present AED's in the district to 911 for the past 10 years, the purpose of which is so a 911 dispatcher can tell a caller the location of the AED in the area during a medical emergency.
Ms. Finnell said, about the non-reporting, "It's the easiest thing in the world. That can be done tomorrow. Not a big deal."
Ms. Finnell concluded, "Money is important, but lives are more important."
Defib Photo Op: "Great for Exposure"
They couldn't take them with them
Monday night's February 8 LSHA meeting began with what the Authority's minimalist agenda called, "Presentation – AED to Schools and County."
Kim Allison accepts an AED for the School District.
Before beginning the evening's other business, Chairwoman Chancy made her presentations. "We are giving AEDs to the elementary schools in Columbia County. We are happy to be able to do this to help the children of Columbia County," she said.
School District Health Coordinator, Kim Allison: "We really do appreciate this. We almost needed one the day of the lightning strike."
Ms. Chancy told Ms. Allison, "We are happy to add to the protection of the people of our County."
Mario Coppock looks at an AED for the County.
Then, she took the AED so she could get a picture with the County’s Recreation Director, Mario Coppock.
Your reporter quipped, “What if somebody has a heart attack tonight?”
Ms. Chancy said, “They won’t be in school until tomorrow.”
Manager Berry directed Chairperson Chancy to give the AED to Mr. Coppock. “Give it to Mario," he said.
Your reporter said, “They might need it tonight.”
Your reporter asked Mr. Coppock if the Richardson Community Center was open, “You open tonight?”
Mr. Coppock answered, “Yes we are.”
Ms. Chancy followed Mr. Berry's order. She handed the AED to Mr. Coppock.
Mr. Coppock said, "Thank you so much. It’s good that we have it, but we hope we never have to use it."
Ms. Chancy then took back the defibrillator.
While the Authority had taken receipt of the defibrillators, the recipients left empty-handed.
Mario Coppock, the County's Recreation Director, was headed back to the Richardson Rec Center for the AAU Basketball tryouts for 10th grade/16 years old and under travel basketball team.
Even though the defibrillator models that were purportedly ordered by the Authority had "how-to" videos as a component of the unit, the Observer has learned that the Authority didn't want to release the defibs until the users went through training.
It was a good thing nobody had a heart attack at the tryouts.