FD1 Fire Association holds golf classic to fund AED purchase for Ledges, non-profit needs

by Town Reminder

By Kristin Will

SOUTH HADLEY – The first four minutes following a heart attack are the most critical. It’s when CPR is administered in the time it takes for a paramedic to reach the scene and, if the victim is lucky, an AED machine is used to reset a heartbeat.
But not all public locations, even in heart-safe communities like South Hadley, own an AED machine (a portable defibrillator). The Ledges Golf Course is one of those places.
“A lot of people of every age are out there in the sun, on a public course,” said Gene Os, a South Hadley Fire District No. 1 firefighter and paramedic. “With anyone at any level doing activity in the heat .. you have to have one.”
So in an effort to raise money to fund an AED purchase for the town-owned Ledges, the non-profit South Hadley Falls Fire Relief Association will host its annual golf classic. Proceeds raised from the event will not only support the AED purchase, but the needs of other charities and non-profit organizations throughout the year.
“The time is now to take care of this,” said Os, who will donate his time and expertise to personally train all Ledges staff in the AED use.
He is concerned with a series of holes on the course that are only accessible by a golf cart. In the instance a golfer collapsed while at one of these holes, paramedics would be using up precious time in golf cart transport. With a portable AED machine at the clubhouse, a trained staff member could call 9-1-1 and in the time the paramedics are driving to the Ledges, the staff member could not only reach a victim but administer CPR and the AED.
“At least they’d have the equipment to do the job,” said Os. “You have to minimize the down time.”
Os himself has trained essentially all of South Hadley, bringing the town to a heart safe community status. He has taught CPR, advanced cardiac life support and pediatric life support since 1993. “You need the public involvement. We can’t do it on our own,” he said.
“It’s important, it’s what we do,” he said of his passion in securing an AED machine at the Ledges. He was instrumental in having AEDs installed in all of the schools, town hall and other locations.
The annual golf classic will be held Friday, July 25 at Ledges Golf Course. It includes lunch, golf, a social hour and dinner for $90 per person or $360 per team. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with a noon lunch and 1 p.m. shotgun start. The social hour will be held at 5:30 and dinner will be held at 6 p.m.
The public is invited to attend. To register or to sponsor a tee box or raffle prize, contact Os at (413) 246-9262 or the Fire District No. 1 station at (413) 532-5343.
Checks may be made payable to the South Hadley Falls Fire Relief Association, 114 Newton St., South Hadley, Ma., 01075.
“Everything we take in, we give out,” said Os of the Association’s fundraising work