Source: Current Publishing

Zionsville Youth Soccer Association has grown exponentially since it was founded in 1979. Although based in Boone County, the organization attracts players and families from across the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Noblesville, Lebanon, Avon and Brownsburg and even as far as West Lafayette.

With that growth, the organization has also adjusted its risk management program to include everything from concussion protocols to anti-bullying efforts. One area ZYSA focused on this year was acquiring additional automated external defibrillators.

In May, ZYSA added readily accessible AEDs to their facility at 5616 S. CR 700 E. in Whitestown. Two of the new $1,500 units were donated, one by Susan and Pierre Twer from Heart Reach Medical and the other by Dr. Julie Clary, a cardiologist with IU Health and a ZYSA parent. The organization paid for a third defibrillator, in addition to the two already onsite, for a total of five AEDs.

“We have a lot of doctors and nurses within our organization, and we have had two AED machines in our complex. They’ve always been locked up in buildings,” Director of Operations Dan Kapsalis said. “We just wanted to come up with a new emergency plan, reevaluate that plan and then put the AED machines outdoors so they can be accessible at any time. We never know; we’ve got grandparents out there watching kids, it’s hot, all kinds of things can go wrong. We just wanted to put the measures in to keep our players and our families safe if anything was to happen.”

The outdoor AEDs are in ventilated and temperature-controlled cabinets known as SaveStations. According to the organization, placing AEDs in outdoor SaveStations significantly increases the chance of survival during a cardiac emergency by making the lifesaving devices accessible to anyone at any time.

“Incidents can happen all the time, so we just wanted to be more prepared. So, this is more just letting our membership know we’re taking the steps to keep you safe and keep your kids safe and keep your families safe,” Kapsalis said. “We want you to feel comfortable when you come to our park, and now we have two that are accessible outside, 24/7. It enhances our risk management program, and it enhances our emergency plan and creates more comfort.”

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