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Tavares, Florida 32778


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County recognizes community for life-saving deeds

RELEASE DATE: August 7, 2007

TAVARES — Lake County Commissioners honored a unique program at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday that is not only setting an example in the community but is also saving lives.

The Plantation at Leesburg
Residents of The Plantation at Leesburg and the community's Save-A-Life Program pose with their plaque received from the Lake County Commissioners.
About seven years ago a group of concerned citizens from The Plantation at Leesburg retirement community approached the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, about CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training. With financial support from the community's developer, the medical community and donations from various neighborhood social groups, Plantation developed the Save-A-Life program with the use of five AEDs. The group of concerned citizens went through the necessary CPR and AED training, but, according to resident Bill Sendelbach, went several years without putting these new skills to good use. That is until October 2005 and May 2007.

"Local residents have saved two people — one on a pickleball court and the other was at a dance at the main clubhouse," he said. "We feel like the program has been a success but we were wondering for a long time if we were ever going to use the [AEDs], but when it actually happened it lends a little credence to the fact that it was worthwhile all the time we have spent doing this."

To date, Plantation's Save-A-Life Program has held 61 training classes. "We're well over 600 people that we have trained and re-trained," Sendelbach added.

Residents of The Plantation at Leesburg attended the County Commission meeting to receive a plaque recognizing the community for their dedication to saving lives. Presenting the plaque to community representatives were County Commissioners Welton Cadwell and Debbie Stivender.

Commissioner Stivender said, "Having trained residents equipped with AEDs in settings where large numbers of people gather saves precious minutes and improves survival rates for cardiac arrest victims. The events that took place at Plantation are the best possible example of how important it is to have these machines and trained residents on hand in case of an emergency."

For more information about CPR and AED training, call the Lake County Department of Public Safety at (352) 343-9458.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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