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Harper Woods

April 10, 2013

Medstar steps up to help community

By April Lehmbeck
C & G Staff Writer

HARPER WOODS — Before his retirement last month, Fire Chief Sean Gunnery went to Medstar CEO Kolby Miller with a special request to help the community.

When Gunnery was approached by a Harper Woods Little League official wanting to get coaches CPR certified, Gunnery realized that his crew didn’t have the tools, like the necessary manuals, to fulfill that need.

He decided to take the request to the city’s contracted ambulance service, Medstar Ambulance, and Miller didn’t hesitate to say they would lend a hand.

“There is a significant cost per student to get this accomplished,” Gunnery said in an email. “I contacted Kolby Miller … and he has stepped up to offer the training at no cost.

“He stepped up big and said he would offer the training for the entire Little League, as well as our library employees who want to get AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certified,” Gunnery said. “It’s all about keeping our kids safe, and I just thought that was very noble.”

When approached, Medstar recommended that they should include coaches and parents who serve for all youth athletics in the city.

Miller, who has 24 years as a paramedic under his belt, wanted his company to provide the service for the city.

“We strongly advocate citizen CPR training in the communities that we serve, and we do everything that we can to ensure that quality training is available and accessible to anyone who wants to take it,” Miller stated in a press release.

He emphasized the importance of people learning how to do CPR and use defibrillators for survival.

“With as easy as CPR is to learn, and the increasing availability of AEDs in public places, there is a great opportunity for people to really make a difference in the lives of their loved one, friends, or strangers,” Miller stated. “Many deaths, in both young and old people, could be prevented if we just had good bystander CPR and an AED.

“Offering CPR training in Harper Woods is a natural extension of the programs that we have in other communities within our service area,” he stated. “We have provided hundreds of these programs in schools, churches, civic clubs, even going so far as to present it to neighborhood groups for parents and caretakers of elderly neighbors.”

Medstar has given defibrillators to municipal buildings and has mini-grants to help civic and other organizations with the cost of purchasing one.

“CPR and AED use, whether it’s by coaches and parents or anyone else in the community, really is the key to us being able to provide the best potential for a save,” Gunnery said.

For more information on CPR classes through Medstar, call (586) 463-5125 or email cpr@medstar ambulance.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer April Lehmbeck at alehmbeck@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1043.