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Network of Trust receives grant for AEDs

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County's elementary schools will soon be better prepared to give immediate aid in the event one of its students, faculty, staff or visitors experience cardiac distress with the help of a grant from Firehouse Subs.

Angie Barber, director of the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Network of Trust, was notified earlier this month that the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was planning to award funds for the purchase of 17 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the schools, officials with Phoebe say.

"Phoebe Health Systems continues to contribute to the health and safety of our system by completing a commitment (Phoebe CEO) Mr. (Joel) Wernick made a little over a year ago. The effort to provide defibrillators to schools can save lives," said R.D. Harter, public information officer for the Dougherty County School System, of the contribution. "I can't think of a more worthwhile partner contribution."

The equipment expected to be purchased with the grant, including pediatric electrode pads and wall cabinets, is valued at more than $25,500, Phoebe officials say.

"We will now have AEDs for all of the elementary schools and our Pre-K center," Barber said in a news release. "Phoebe provided the middle and high schools in the county with AEDs, so now we have this valuable tool in every school in the DCSS system."

The Network of Trust School Health Program provides school nurses for each Dougherty school. Four of the school nurses provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED training to teachers and staff at every school, officials say.

"Our team has been working diligently with a number of entities. Network of Trust is part of health safety teams now in every one of our schools in Dougherty County. This grant from Firehouse Subs puts life-saving AEDs into the hands of first responders in our elementary schools," Barber said.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs established its non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the goal of providing funding, life-saving equipment, disaster assistance and educational opportunities for first responders and public safety entities, the organization's website says.