The philanthropic, Queens-based Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB), the organization that provides meals, among other things, to Caribbean athletes participating in the Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, says that 20 more Jamaican high schools were expected to receive Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS) and First Aid Kits from as part of the group’s annual “Defibrillator to Schools Program.”
JTB said the distribution was expected to take place on Tuesday, July 16, at the S Hotel on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in Montego Bay.
A second presentation is being planned for later in the year in keeping with TJB’s mission to donate a minimum of 25 units to mark its 25th anniversary.
“The program, which was born out of grief and loss, has been nothing short of impactful with the initiative which began in 2014 creating awareness of the need for emergency resources at sporting activities and other venues,” JTB said.
“The heightened awareness of the defibrillator program has also extended generally to schools and private sector organizations yielding a cadre of trained staff,” it added.
JTB said schools are now requesting to be included in the annual presentations, “which were prompted by the sudden and tragic deaths of student-athletes Cavahn McKenzie (2014) and Dominic James (2016), both at sporting events.”
In addition to receiving units, JTB said school staff are also trained in CPR and are presented a certificate on completion.
Schools can send up to four members of staff to be trained at the given sessions, JTB said.
“It is the organization’s goal to outfit each high school with its dedicated AED unit,” it said, stating that the latest presentation will bring the total number of schools outfitted by TJB and indirect donors to just over 70.
Schools set to receive units in the latest round of awards were: Anchovy High; Black River High; Cambridge High; Grange Hill High; Irwin High; Lewisville High; Little London High; Maggotty High; Maldon High; Manchester High; Maud McLeod High; Merlene Ottey High; Munro College; Muschett High; Nain High; Newell High; Roger Clarke High; Troy High; Belmont Academy; and Knockalva High.
“The welfare of our athletes motivated us 25 years ago to start TJB,” said TJB chairman, Irwine Clare, Snr. “Their welfare was foremost in our minds with the launch and continuation of this program.
“This presentation of 20 AEDs and training of staff from schools primarily in the western section of island represents our continued commitment,” he added. “We thank our sponsors and supporters.”
Clare said nurses Sharon Thompson and Delores McGregor, from the Diaspora Healthcare Sector, were expected to conduct the training sessions.