GREEN When members of the Green Lions Foundation recently approached Ward 3 Councilman Ken Knodel and representatives from the Green Fire Department with their plan to make a $20,000 donation to the department, club members expressed that they wanted the money to be used for a "legacy" project, Green Firemedic Brian Lloyd said.
"They had a number of proposals and I talked to my shift (commanders) as to what would work best," Lloyd said. "We didn’t want a lot of things that would expire."
The donation, which was formally accepted by City Council on April 11, will be used to purchase public access AEDs (automated external defibrillators), residential Knox Boxes, and emergency preparedness booklets – all aimed primarily at seniors in the community.
What the donation will buy
An AED is a portable device used to treat sudden cardiac arrest that can check the heart rhythm and send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. Lloyd said the plan is to place the AEDs in public areas of the community where there are high concentrations of people, such as churches, schools and shopping plazas.
Knox Boxes, Lloyd explained, are boxes containing keys or codes to enter a building that first responders can use to enter a building in an emergency if they arrive before law enforcement. Knox Boxes are commonly used in commercial buildings, but the Lions Foundation donation money would be used in part to install them at residences.
"If we get an alarm call at 2 a.m., for instance, we can gain entry," he said.
Finally, the emergency booklets would include information for residents such as emergency numbers and what to do in a medical emergency or natural disaster, as well as resident information for first responders such as their medical history, allergies, and medications they are taking.
Some planning still needed
Lloyd said the department is still researching how many of each of the items should be purchased and where they should be located.
"We still have a lot of legwork to do," Lloyd said, adding that the department is gathering information for a master list from its own call logs, as well as area agencies serving seniors.
Knodel said the project began when he was approached by Green Lions Foundation member, John Hoffman, in 2016.
"Mr. Hoffman contacted me after the sale of Lions Park," Knodel said. "The Lions have been in Green for a long time – since 1950. They picked the fire department (as a beneficiary) since many members have worked for the fire department in the past."
Hoffman, along with fellow Lions member and former volunteer firefighter, Dan Koonz presented the donation to city officials at the April 11 city council meeting. Mayor Gerard Neugebauer thanked the Lions club for its "substantial donation" will be a great help to the city and the fire department in particular.
Lloyd added that the department is devoted to using the money to create the type of lasting legacy the Lions had in mind.
"The work has begun already and we will stretch the money as much as we can to help the city and be a legacy to the Lions Club," he said.