For immediate release
American Heart Association-First Coast Market’s present to the Zoo will be a Life Saver
June 30, 2011 - Jacksonville, Fl -
At a press conference on Thursday, June 30, at 9:30 a.m. the American Heart Association (AHA) First Coast Market’s Vice President Rebecca White made a special, “heart-felt” presentation to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ Executive Director Tony Vecchio. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was given to the Zoo for its use in helping to save the lives of any of its visitors who may experience heart-related emergencies. The AED was donated to the AHA on behalf of a local family foundation who wishes to remain anonymous.
“We are honored to help continue to protect the Jacksonville community for which we serve,” stated White. “Facilitating donations such as this AED are a vital part of the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.”
The American Heart Association strongly encourages large businesses and public facilities to establish AED programs. With an AED program a person will be better prepared to save the worker, friend, family member or stranger. AEDs have helped save many lives. The goal of every AED program is to deliver defibrillation to a sudden cardiac arrest within three-to-five minutes of collapse.
The Zoo’s security staff is well-trained in all first aid, first responder and CPR. Previously, there was only one AED located near at the Wildlife Carousel toward the back of the Zoo. Having an AED at the front of the Zoo will help shorten the time that help can be given and is certain to result in more lives being saved.
“We are so grateful to the American Heart Association for this special gift,” said Vecchio. “With the Zoo continuing to grow bigger and better every year, we expect the attendance to continue to grow as well. And, with 700,000 plus visitors a year being the norm, we need to be prepared to handle anything. This AED will be a very important tool as we prepare to deal with any and all emergencies.”
For more than 96 years, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experience in a caring environment. Since its beginning in 1914, with an animal collection that consisted of only one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has become one of the top zoos in the nation. It now features more than 1,800 rare and exotic animals and over 1,000 unique plant species. Preservation of sustainable biodiversity is a key mission of the Zoo. The Zoo is a non-profit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is open year-round, seven-days-a-week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information, go to jacksonvillezoo.org.