Two local little leagues received training and equipment recently that may save a life.
As part of an ongoing initiative, the Staten Island Heart Society provided defibrillators for both the Throgs Neck Little League and the Pelham Bay Little League for use at their facilities.
They also provided training for league coaches on how to use their new equipment at the TNLL field on Tuesday, December 6, league officials said.
The New York City Council Beating Hearts Initiative provided the training and equipment, said Councilman James Vacca, who added that a similar training had been provided several months ago at the Morris Park Community Association.
The councilman said that as part of the council’s budget negotiation team, he successfully advocated for funding for defibrillators in the city budget.
“This was a long overdue expenditure,” said Vacca, adding “We provided funding for defibrillators to go to non-profits in the district; they save lives.”
This is the first year that defibrillators in the district have been distributed, said the councilman, adding he is trying to serve as many non-profits as he can with this year’s budget.
The machines, which deliver an electric current when people are having heart attacks, are useful for both young people and older adults, said the councilman.
In the case of senior citizens defibrillators are useful because many older people may have age-related illnesses and may be at community functions where a defibrillator would save their life, he said.
Even for young people who are playing sports they could be helpful, indicated the councilman.
Frank Eisele, TNLL president, said that he believes the defibrillator and the training would mainly serve people who come to the field to watch their children or grandchildren play ball.
“It is a very positive thing what the city council did,” said Eisele of the training and defibrillator giveaway. “If something does occur, the people at the league will be trained to react.”
The little league president added that the training provided by Staten Island Heart Society was very thorough, and included demonstations on full-size and baby-size dummies.
The league will keep its defibrillator at its field and look to obtain another for its travel team, said Eisele, who confirmed that members of the PBLL also received training on December 6.
One of the TNLL coaches who paticipated in the training session, John Marano, said that for him the training was a refresher course because of his work at the FDNY.
Roughly ten officials from both leagues attended the training, said Marano, who added that having so many people on the field who know how to use the technology could really save someone’s life.
This year, the Beating Hearts Initiative also provided funding to the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League for a defibrillator, said a Vacca spokesman.