Groups donate AED device to Focus House


ROCHELLE – Local non-profit organizations Sudden Cardiac-death Awareness Research Foundation, otherwise known as S.C.A.R.F., and the Rochelle Rotary’s From the Heart Fundraiser have helped the Rochelle Focus house be prepared for any type of cardiac emergency with the recent donation of an Automated External Defibrillator. 

Focus House in Rochelle, which provides a safe, nurturing and structured environment for youth in the community before having them successfully return home to their families, opened a second house called the Miller House back in August. The original location, located on Illinois Route 251, already had the equipment necessary in case of a cardiac emergency on the premises. 

Since the opening of the second home, Focus House officials have been searching for another device to be placed in the Miller House. Rotary and S.C.A.R.F. answered the call. 

“They donated the unit back in October and provided us with a little refresher training on how to use the device,” said Focus House director Brenda Mason. “If any kind of cardiac event were to come up, we would be prepared.” 

Previous to having this device on the premise, if an emergency were to happen instructors would have to conduct traditional CPR, compressions and call 911 until emergency help arrived. 

Both organizations involved in providing the AED machine do a plethora within their local communities. From the Heart has raised more than $46,000 for eight local non-profit organizations. And the mission of S.C.A.R.F. is to educate the community about the signs and prevention of sudden cardiac death and to provide tools necessary to do so, such as providing the life-saving machines. 

While these organizations help their communities individually, coming together makes a larger impact.

“This is truly an awesome thing that we were able to offer, we came together as a collaborative force,” added Chuck Watkins, board member of Rotary, From the Heart and S.C.A.R.F.

The AED device that was donated to Focus House was dedicated to a former Focus House employee who passed away from cardiac arrest during a family dinner in her home. A plaque hanging next to the AED device reads:

“We honor Carol through this donation of an AED so that no other family has to lose a daughter, a mother, or a sister. It is our hope that through this donation we can save more lives and put an end to the devastation of cardiac arrest.”

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