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Elgin nonprofits may qualify for free AED program

An AED device Gail Borden Public Library Elgis similar ones city Elgis helping nonprofit groups purchase. | Mike Danahey/Sun-Times Media

An AED device at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin is similar to the ones the city of Elgin is helping nonprofit groups purchase. | Mike Danahey/Sun-Times Media

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Groups with Elgin AEDs

So far the following 13 organizations have received AEDs through Elgin’s program:

Elgin Riverside Club

Elgin Turners

Loyal Order of the Moose Elgin Lodge 799

American Legion Post 57

Elgin Elks Lodge 737

The Owls Athletic Club

Watch City VFW Post 1307

Little Angels

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Elgin Knights of Columbus

Elgin Public Museum

The Einstein Academy

Updated: March 25, 2014 6:07AM

ELGIN — During a game on Feb. 4 at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Elgin Community College sophomore basketball player Zach Cooper’s life was saved by Oakton athletic trainer Alicia Mikulski.

Using an automatic external defibrillator (AED), she was able to revive Cooper, who had collapsed while resting on the bench after having played part of the game.

The incident gives notice to how important it can be to have AED’s present at any gathering.

To that end, the city of Elgin has a program in place to help local organizations purchase the life-saving devices.

More than three years ago, “Councilman Rich Dunne had originally asked staff to look into creating this program,” city management analyst Aaron Cosentino said. “The program is designed to give greater access to AED’s and increase the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest survival. City volunteer events get additional help in return (for the city providing the groups the devices).”

Cosentino said the program is overseen by administrative intern Isabelle Bourgeois. From its general fund, the city sets aside not more than $10,500 annually, “but the actual amount spent might be less depending on the pricing and how many applications the city receives,” Cosentino said.

The effort is open to any fraternal, benevolent, service or any faith-based nonprofit within the city limits.

With group buying, Dunne said the city can get the AEDs for $1,000 each, or $200 to $300 less than what a single purchaser might pay. In return for the city buying the devices, Elgin gets 50 hours of volunteer time from those affiliated with the group’s receiving them.

“The application period for this round ended Jan. 31. Organizations just have to fill out the application and sign a legal agreement,” Cosentino said. “Then they work with staff over the next year to get volunteer work at city events completed. Applicants also have to get at least four individuals trained and adopt an AED policy and protocol.”

The city purchases the same units used throughout other city facilities “so that we can ensure interoperability throughout the city and as many AEDs as there are (qualifying) applications, as long as we do not go over the allotted amount. This has not happened to date. This is our third round of funding.” Cosentino said.

To date, 13 organizations have received the AEDs, and eight filled out the paperwork for them this time.

“I hope more organizations apply for them,” Dunne said.

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