Gold's Gym in Crofton has donated three automated external defibrillators to Anne Arundel County elementary schools this year, helping to meet the school department's self-imposed mandate to equip all of its schools with the life-saving devices.
Meade Heights Elementary School in Meade was the latest recipient, receiving its AED this month, bringing the total number of donated defibrillators to nine. In January, Gold's Gym donated an AED to Nantucket Elementary School in Crofton and Seven Oaks Elementary in Odenton.
"It's something we've sort of championed from Day One in our clubs," said Bruce Ebel, a representative for the gym's ownership group, which operates 10 Gold's Gym clubs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.
"Basically, the schools that didn't have them were our neighbors," Ebel said. "It's always nice to do something right in our backyard."
Gold's Gym Crofton has purchased a total of nine AEDs for the county schools since the partnership began in 2007. The first six AEDs purchased in 2007 were for Crofton, Crofton Woods, Crofton Meadows, Four Seasons and Piney Orchard elementary schools and Crofton Middle School.
Diane Ferguson, a safety specialist and the AED coordinator for the county, said the donation helps to make good on its goal to outfit all of the county schools with the devices, which they hope to do by the fall. All of the county's middle and high schools have defibrillators, as state law requires.