A local Boy Scout is seeking to improve safety, and possibly save lives, as part of his Eagle Scout project.
As his Eagle Scout project, Chris Daughtry has proposed to raise funds to purchase and install an AED (automatic external defibrillator) in an alarmed cabinet at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center and provide a class to train employees and staff on its use. He spoke earlier this week to the Sampson Board of Commissioners, which gave its resounding blessing.
Daughtry, a sophomore at Clinton High School, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 27, representing Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church.
“An AED can increase the chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest by 70 percent. For every minute that passes after a heart attack, the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 percent. An AED is simple to use and is fully automated with voice commands, nearly eliminating any possibility of user error,” Daughtry pointed out.
AEDs detect abnormal heart rhythms in a victim and will administer a shock only if necessary.
Daughtry said his goal through the project is to raise $1,200 to $1,300 to purchase and install the AED. He told commissioners any assistance received toward realizing that goal would be greatly appreciated.
“Remember,” he concluded, “the life it saves could be yours.”
Commissioner Albert Kirby complimented Daughtry on a “great sales pitch.” Several of the commissioners even inquired as to how they would give toward the cause.
“It’s a very good project,” Kirby noted.
“It definitely is,” board chairman Clark Wooten added. “I certainly commend you for your efforts.”
Daughtry is the son of Neal and Sheila Daughtry, who was there with Daughtry at Monday’s board meeting. Along with the Boy Scouts, Daughtry is involved in Clinton High as a member of the marching band, Spring concert band, and the Science Club. He has been active in the Boy Scouts with Troop 27 since he was 7 years old.
Ray Jordan, executive director of the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center, praised Daughtry for his Eagle Scout idea and noted that the community has benefited from such projects over the years.
“Through the years, Sampson County has been the beneficiary of many projects conducted by Boy Scouts who are working to become an Eagle Scout,” Jordan stated. “These projects are a major component for those who are striving to become an Eagle Scout.”
Several months ago, Jordan was contacted by Daughtry and his mother Sheila, who said they believed visitors to the Expo Center would benefit from having the potentially life-saving device available. They inquired as to whether the venue, which regularly hosts programs and events that host hundreds of people, had an AED should it be needed by someone experiencing a heart attack. The facility does not have the equipment, Jordan later confirmed.
Daughtry said he wanted to see that change for a facility that hosts so many public and private events.
“He felt that a life could likely be saved if an AED were on-site and the staff trained in its proper use in the event of an emergency,” said Jordan, noting no expense on the county’s part.
Last week, Daughtry contacted Jordan to let him know the project had been proposed to the Boys Scouts for approval, which it subsequently received. On Monday, the Board of Commissioners further concurred, formally accepting Daughtry’s Eagle Scout project and allowing it to commence.
“It’s very admirable for this young man to be thinking about this,” said Emergency Management director Ronald Bass. “It’s a known fact that early defibrillation does save lives, and we support these efforts.”
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