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LIFE-SAVING GIFT | Oklahoma Disaster Restoration to donate AED to Seminole Public Schools

Oklahoma Disaster Restoration (ODR) is donating an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to Seminole Public Schools.

“It means an added layer of security & safety for our students and staff, particularly during PE classes, assemblies, sporting events, and special events such as graduation/ honors assemblies, etc.” said Seminole Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Gragg.

The donation on Feb. 8 marks the seventh in a continuing series of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) presented to Oklahoma Schools. The first went to Prue Public Schools, then to Glencoe Schools, San Miguel Schools, Yale Schools, Kinta and Paden Schools.

According to ODR General Manager Tammy Stokes, the donation is in part in answer to the tornado damage the school suffered in 2022.

“The tornado that damaged the high school was quite devastating. It’s never easy to recover from these incidences,” she said. “Insurance funds help but there are always the little things that add up. Hopefully this “little thing” will provide the students, faculty, staff, and parents a sense of security.”

The town of Seminole was struck by several tornadoes on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, causing multiple structures to be damaged as well as causing power outages to a reported 97% of all electric customers in the city. At the time one School Director and her family were forced to retreat to the school’s vault. Special Education Director Tiffani Coker reported later that her husband and her 15-year-old had to hold the vault door closed as the tornado went over.

“It sounded like a train, and we could also hear the glass breaking, and I could hear the metal coming off of the roof in the armory building,” she said. The school and several other buildings sustained substantial damages.

The new facility for Seminole High School had been completed toward the end of 2019, and the students/ staff moved in the new building in January 2020. Dr. Gragg says that the donation will be wall-mounted at the south end of the gymnasium so it will be accessible to more areas of the school.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Often confused with a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is a serious condition that in some cases may be fatal.

“Speed is the key to saving a life when it comes to a cardiac event so an on-site AED can literally be the difference between life and death,” ODR Commercial Business Development representative Brady Deaton said.

While ODR is primarily known as a Disaster Restoration Company, they endeavor to spend a lot of time with schools and businesses that can’t afford to have the necessary equipment to assist in an emergency.

The AED device treats conditions through defibrillation, which allows the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. More importantly, AEDs are designed to be used by a layperson through simple audio and visual commands and are taught in many first-aid, certified first responder, and basic life support level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes.

Stokes says that ODR is happy to be a part of keeping Seminole students safe.

“The risk of heart issues is more prominent today than in decades past. Chances of survival from sudden cardiac death diminish by 7 – 10 percent for each minute without immediate CPR or defibrillation. After 10 minutes, resuscitation rarely succeeds. Having an AED can save lives, whether it be an adult or student.” she said.

ODR plans to give away one AED per quarter to a school in need.

“It’s important to us to show our consistent giving to the community,” Stokes says. “We hope that these donations will inspire others to find ways to give back to their communities..”

ODR is a locally owned, non-franchise, disaster restoration company that has been in business since 1988. Their technicians are trained and certified in disaster restoration services such as water & flood damage, fire & smoke damage, mold remediation, and additional disaster restoration services. The company has invested in state-of-the-art technology, staff, and equipment for reconstructing your home or business to its original state or better. Growing up in small towns, both Tammy Stokes and her husband Jay know the differences in opportunities between the big cities and the small towns.

Dr. Gragg says that everyone at Seminole as well as the rest of the community will benefit from the donation and they are all thankful for that.

“We are so very appreciative of this wonderful donation to our school! A company such as ODR, demonstrates their value of public schools when they provide service such as this AED above the value of just making a profit” he said.