Local man donates AED units to school boards after losing father



By Jolene Perron

A total of 27 AED units were donated to the local school boards, in hopes to assist in saving someone’s life.

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a portable device that can check the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. The units may be used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.

Frank Cremasco, who owns Cremasco Fine Cabinetry in LaSalle lost his father about a year ago while he was playing bocce ball.

John Picco (left), a local firefighter and representative of Second Chance CPR shows the AED device with Frank Cremasco at their unveiling Sept. 27. (Special to the RTT)

“Frank couldn’t help but thinking if there was an AED was on site there, perhaps his father may still be with us,” said Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board communications coordinator Stephen Fields. “He felt he wanted to do something proactive and turn a bad experience into a positive one, so he spearheaded a fundraising campaign and has donated to both school boards a total of 27 AED units, 10 of them are going to the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board. One of them is going to be located here at the board office and the other nine are going to be going into all of our secondary schools.”

According to Fields, the units can cost anywhere from $2,400 to $2,500. Considering the amount of people using their schools at any given time, Fields feels as though this will give those people in their buildings a sense of reassurance knowing these units could be just a few steps away.

AED units are safe and simple to use, according to the Heart and Stroke foundation’s website. After they have been turned on, someone can simply follow the voice prompts which tell the user everything they need to do, and it will not deliver a shock unless necessary.

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Cremasco for everything that he has done,” said Fields. “It should provide a lot of piece of mind for some people and we are extremely grateful that he went to the time and the effort to spearhead this effort and bring this level of safety into our schools.”