Friday, October 7, 2016

Help Zihuatanejo Lifeguards and Fire Department!

Please check this out and donate!                     

Replacement AED: Zihua Lifeguards

In 2013, three members of the Santa Cruz State Lifeguard Association traveled to Zihuatanejo, Mexico to donate an AED (automatic external defibrillator) to the lifeguard and fire service. We were asked to run a three-day lifeguard training for approximately 40 lifeguards from Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. The trip was successful, yet highlighted the need of basic rescue equipment in the area.

In 2014, with help and donations from the lifeguarding and bodysurfing communities, we collected over 60 pairs of fins and fund-raised around $1200 to purchase rescue tubes and pocket masks. In November, five lifeguards from Santa Cruz and one lifeguard from Virginia Beach returned to Zihuatanejo with fins, rescue tubes, pocket masks and other aquatic-related donations. We worked closely with a representative from the Municipal Fire Department in running a five-day program to train lifeguards from the fire service and area hotels. Around eighty lifeguards participated in and completed the training. Since 2014, we've heard that the area lifeguards are now better equipped, making more safety contacts and working with a high level of professionalism.

The municipal fire department is not funded through the government. They are entirely funded by the local community and operate the only public ambulance in the area. They must continually serve the great needs of their community with limited funds and resources. We were alerted that the AED unit we had donated had been recalled by the company and that replacement pads were needed down in Zihua. Because it was an American unit, the Fire Dept. was unable to order replacement pads, batteries and other parts. The only solution is to purchase an AED through a Mexican distributor so the department can order replacement parts as they need them.

A working, functional AED is one of the biggest keys to livesaving in the Zihua/Ixtapa area. This unit will be used on the ambulance and anywhere in the field it is needed. It will not only serve those recreating on Zihua/Ixtapa's beaches but will serve the town of Zihuatanejo itself, providing residents with crucial access to emergency services.

Zoll has quoted an AED Plus Unit with CPR feedback sensor CPR-D-Padz, ten lithium batteries type 123A, a 5 year warranty with the manufacturer and shipping to Zihuatanejo at $1830.00 USD. Replacement pads are $145.00 each and a pack of ten batteries costs $75. Ideally, we would like to send 1 AED unit and at least one set of replacement parts (pads and batteries) to Zihuatanejo. Any dollar amount over that goal will go towards buying extra replacement pads. For those who are not familiar with AED units, pads must be replaced after every use for effectiveness. 

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