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VTHH and Tullahoma Rotary Clubs provide AED funding

Jan. 8, 2024, 8:49 AM

From left are Allen Harris, Tullahoma Sunrise Rotary Club president; Gina Bumbalough, TCS, Coordinated School health director; Dr. Catherine Stephens, TCS director of schools; Dr. Monica Blake Beasley, THS teacher and Rotary Interact Club sponsor; John Olive, TCS athletic director; and Rich Ellis, VTHH president. Not pictured: Allen Watts, Tullahoma Noon Rotary Club president.
From left are Allen Harris, Tullahoma Sunrise Rotary Club president; Gina Bumbalough, TCS, Coordinated School health director; Dr. Catherine Stephens, TCS director of schools; Dr. Monica Blake Beasley, THS teacher and Rotary Interact Club sponsor; John Olive, TCS athletic director; and Rich Ellis, VTHH president. Not pictured: Allen Watts, Tullahoma Noon Rotary Club president.

by Ava Lynch

Although automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were available within the Tullahoma City Schools (TCS), there were none available on the buses transporting athletes to away sporting events.

Rich Ellis, Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital’s (VTHH) president, learned from Gina Bumbalough, RN, coordinated school health director for TCS, that there was a need for AEDs on buses. Together with VTHH, the Tullahoma Sunrise Rotary Club and the Tullahoma Noon Rotary Club combined efforts and were able to provide funding for TCS to purchase four refurbished AEDs.

With AEDs both onsite and now traveling with athletes, responders can immediately attempt to save a life. Even though the primary goal of programs that promote school cardiac emergency response teams is to decrease sudden cardiac deaths among youths, these programs have also helped save adult lives.

TCS are participants of Project Adam through Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Project Adam began in 1999 after the death of Adam Lemel who was a 17-year-old Wisconsin high school student who collapsed and died while playing basketball. He suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and ventricular fibrillation. Adam’s parents collaborated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Herma Heart Center to create the program in Adam’s memory.

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