Wood district installs AEDs at three high school stadiums

PARKERSBURG — Wood County Schools has installed automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, at its three high school sports stadiums.

Two AEDs will be available at each stadium, one at each concession stand and a second depending on the individual stadium, said Julie Bertram, health services coordinator for Wood County Schools. Parkersburg High School’s second AED will remain with its athletic trainer, Parkersburg South High School’s will be at the Erickson All Sports Facility ticket booth and Williamstown High School’s will be kept near the press box, she said.

The move was prompted by retired teacher Monica Davis, who in December 2015 suffered a massive heart attack while working at Franklin Elementary Center. Thanks to the efforts of staff, first responders and use of an AED unit, Davis was resuscitated.

“I started thinking about how many people use our stadiums and whether we have AEDs at them,” she said. “I didn’t want to feel like something bad happened to someone because I wasn’t persistent enough.”

Bertram said during major events, the district will have an ambulance on scene for medical emergencies, but that ambulance can be called away and isn’t at all games and events.

Bertram also said it raises awareness of the units because the boxes are clearly visible at each concession stand.

Bertram said the district now has 47 AEDs at its facilities, and those units are carefully monitored. Staff members are made aware of where the units are kept and trained in their use.

The six new AED units, along with installed cases at the stadiums, cost about $10,000.