Bridger pool receives welcome donation

Photo by Alastair Baker Bridger City Clerk Kirstin Sweet receives the AED from Eric Fisher, St. Vincent’s Trauma Dept. Also present (far left) Shala Cullum, Bridger City Council; (center) Dylan Webster, JMG Bridger Chapter; and (far right) Susie Barbero, Admin Secretary of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation and coordinator of the Share Our Spirit (SOS) Associate Giving Campaign.

It is one of the biggest splashes yet in the history of the Bridger pool when St. Vincent Healthcare donated an AED Defibrillator to the City of Bridger. Eric Fisher, St. V’s Trauma Dept., and Susie Barbero, admin secretary of St. V’s Healthcare Foundation and coordinator of the Share Our Spirit (SOS) Associate Giving Campaign, presented the gift that cost $1,384.

Bridger pool director, Linda Eckerman, said the AED would be a “valuable tool” at the pool.

“We’ve had no incidents to date but you would rather be prepared than say facing a situation and now wanting the AED,” she said.

All the lifeguards at the pool are trained to use an AED as part of the CPR training through American Heart Association and Red Cross.

“It’s fantastic,” said Shala Cullum, Bridger City Council member. “We’ve needed an AED at our city pool for a long time and we’ve been wondering how to get one so it’s fantastic for the safety of our kids as well as for people from surrounding communities such as Fromberg, Joliet, Edgar, and Belfry who use it. It’s a huge boost and we’re super thankful as a town.”

The ball started rolling on this project after Vicki Kaufman’s Bridger JMG (Job For Montana Graduates) class needed a civic project to do.

“Lynn White, our (school) cook mentioned the pool didn’t have an AED,” said Kaufman. “And we took it on. We contacted Eric (Fisher) and got some quotes for an AED. JMG decided to donate half the money and raise the other half but St. Vincent decided to donate the whole thing.”

“We have an employee giving campaign called SOS,” said Barbero. “I’m the coordinator of this through the foundation. We have 2,200 employees in our organization and we roll out the campaign and employees have the option on how they would like to donate. One of the funds is a Children Fund and they sort through the requests. Eric asked if there was funding for this AED and the committee said yes. The employees donated this to support communities and promote healthy families.”

The remaining funds raised by the JMG group will be refigured although after Cole’s Posse won the Governor Serve Montana Award, JMG and FCCLA members could use the funds to go to Helena to meet Montana Governor Steve Bullock on June 2.