Sunday 8 December, 2019

Team Jamaica Bickle donates 35 defibrillators to schools

Nicole Mais-Bennett (left) receives AED & First Aid Kit from Leon Mitchell, Assistant General Manager, JN Group. JN donated five of the AED units.

Nicole Mais-Bennett (left) receives AED & First Aid Kit from Leon Mitchell, Assistant General Manager, JN Group. JN donated five of the AED units.

The New York-based Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) has exceeded its commitment to donate 25 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to schools in 2019 under its ‘Defibrillator to Schools” programme.

The organisation said it donated 35 of the potentially life-saving device through the help of “kind sponsors”. This has benefitted 13 schools as TJB marks 25 years of service to Jamaican athletes.

The use of defibrillators was crucial to saving the life of now-retired Jamaican middle-distance runner, Kemoy Campbell. While setting the pace in a 3,000m race in New York on February 9 this year, Campbell’s heart stopped and he collapsed to the track. He was unconscious for a few minutes before he received attention from emergency responders.

Defibrillators were used on him before he was taken off the track on a stretcher and transported across the street to the nearby ICU at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Hospital.

The group of recipients pose with guests and TJB Officials after receiving AED units.

The schools that have benefitted from defibrillators are; Annotto Bay, Claude McKay, Foga Road, Glengoffe, Glenmuir, Jose Marti, Holmwood Technical, Holy Childhood, Holy Trinity, Kellits, Ocho Rios, Robert Lightbourne, and William Knibb.

The National Stadium and The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Sports Department were also presented with units totaling 15, and over 50 persons trained in use of the machines and basic CPR.

The presentation took place last week at the JAMPRO Auditorium in Kingston. Twenty units were presented earlier this year to schools in western Jamaica. 

Marie Stewart-Lewin, Executive, Office of the CEO, JN Bank, spoke of the importance of AED’s in managing high-risk activities of athletes. The athletes she said are “national treasures” whose health should be protected, adding that JN has seen the value in ensuring that AEDS are available in public spaces having worked alongside the Heart Foundation of Jamaica to make that a reality and emphasized the natural alignment with TJB.  JN donated five of the 15 AED units.

Bringing greetings on behalf of ISSA, President, Keith Wellington thanked TJB for its generosity to the schools in such a vital area, one in which help was needed. He conveyed thanks on behalf of the principal and teachers. He also noted that the National Stadium would for the first time, be outfitted with an AED machine - a significant improvement as none was available before the donation.  

And the Dominic James Foundation, which was recently launched was represented by Dominic’s father, David James, and Board Member, Dr. Lawrence Nicholson.  In his remarks, Nicholson noted that Dominic who tragically lost his life during a Manning Cup football match represented excellence. The mission of the foundation he said is to promote integrity, diligence and excellence, hallmarks of Dominic’s life. The foundation would be granting academic scholarships to three students across the island that embodies those qualities; one from each county.

Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation based in New York State. The organisation was formed in 1994 and was later designated a 501(c)(3) organisation. TJB was founded by the current CEO Irwine G. Clare Snr. The affiliated TJB-Philadelphia Organising Committee was simultaneously formed.

TJB's mission is embodied in the motto, 'Our Athletes, Our Ambassadors'.

Team Jamaica Bickle, Inc. has supported athletes and athletic programmes for the past 25 years. Currently, TJB services extend to a delegation of athletes, coaches and volunteers from Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, including  Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, as well as from the United States.

In 1999, TJB became the first Jamaican organisation to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays. As a result, the Jamaican flag became the first foreign nation’s flag to be flown at the prestigious relays, a distinction unmatched. Over the years, TJB has received several proclamations and awards from numerous local and national entities. 

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