Posted: February 26, 2001

Get defibrillators in all schools and workplaces

The Inquirer has done a great service with its article (Feb. 17) and editorial on defibrillators (Feb. 20).

I have been a volunteer emergency medical technician in Montgomery County for more than 10 years, and I have treated many cardiac arrest victims.

Despite our gallant efforts, most victims of cardiac arrest do not survive, usually because they have been down too long before our arrival.

With defibrillators, victims are shocked much sooner and survival rates increase significantly. It is unprecedented in medical history for nonmedical personnel to have such an effective tool. Everyone should take advantage of this opportunity.

I know of at least one firm that is leasing defibrillators for as little as $65 per month. How much would you be willing to spend to save a life?

Brian Kroker

Lafayette Hill


The editorial describing your colleague's close encounter with a defibrillator (Inquirer, Feb. 20) put a human face on the importance of such a basic and simple need in our community.

You could further educate the public by following up with an article on the various cardiac conditions that might cause the need for these devices. One is called Long QT Syndrome, an irregular heart rate that can make people, especially young people, susceptible to life-threatening cardiac events. Though it can strike a young athlete without warning and with tragic consequences, the presence of a nearby defibrillator can greatly reduce the incidence of a tragic ending.

Sandy Binnig


It is a sad commentary on the priorities of our elected officials that they can find a way to finance multimillion-dollar playgrounds for professional sports teams, with an approximate benefit to the average citizen of zero, yet individual school districts are left to rely on fund-raising efforts or donations by businesses to purchase defibrillators (Inquirer, Feb. 20).

Defibrillators should be as ubiquitous as fire extinguishers in public buildings. Schools shouldn't have to choose between an academic expenditure or a defibrillator.If the state can subsidize the Phillies, Eagles, Pirates and Steelers, it can certainly equip schools with these life-saving devices. And they should be standard equipment for businesses, just as they are required to keep a building up to code or to meet accessibility guidelines.

Sadly, given our state and local legislators' track record of loathsome apathy toward such matters, particularly when no money is likely to be funneled to their reelection funds, I doubt we will see any meaningful action.

C.T. Ellis


No dump by garden

I oppose the construction of the waste facility proposed for the 1600 block of South 49th Street next to Bartram's Garden (Inquirer, Feb. 15).

Thousands of guests from around the world visit this significant national landmark every year. It is also beloved by local residents. These visitors, including many school groups, should not have their ears assaulted by the sounds of heavy trucks dropping loads of construction debris and machines crushing it up. Nor should these visitors have to inhale the drifting dust from such a facility. Nor should the site and its precious plant life be exposed to the potential environmental degradation or other hazards of such an enterprise.

This stretch along the Schuylkill is part of the planned Schuylkill River Botanic Trail, a 2.5-mile pedestrian and biking greenway connecting 30th Street Station to Bartram's Garden. This trail is to be part of the 110-mile Schuylkill River Trail extending from Philadelphia to Pottstown.

Christine Hibbard


Perhaps the deciding factor concerning whether a dump should be allowed near Bartram's Garden (Inquirer, Feb. 15) should be whether the dump is acceptable with regard to what is so belatedly being recognized as a critical strategy for the well-being of the city: attracting young people to live and work here. For this Philadelphia resident and worker, an appealing environment for the historic treasure that is Bartram's Garden takes priority.

John Peteraf

Discover your own music

After reading Fawn Vrazo's commentary on "songs our parents hated" (Inquirer, Feb. 17), I happened to be at a local YMCA gym where moldy-oldies are piped in 24/7. I heard "Two Tickets to Paradise" and thought, how about we let our kids make their own memories with their own music?

If they happen to take to the old stuff, sure, why not? I've got a nephew who's a bluesman at 15; he goes to Wilson Pickett shows with his dad like they're brothers. Good for them. Took a ride in another nephew's car that's rigged with speakers in every place possible, including the trunk, and received a full-body vibration massage listening to Korn and Metallica. Good for him. My teenage daughter likes to punch her preset buttons on the car radio to what sounds like mostly commercials to me - but it's not boomer moldy oldies. Good for her.

Dave Johnson

Audubon, Pa.


What happened to the desire to hear music that is new, exciting and different (Commentary, Feb. 17)? Discover WXPN-FM (88.5), Philadelphia's radio treasure. The programming spans generations. Do my preteens love every song that comes on? No. Do I? No. But we're introduced to music we would never hear anywhere else - with no commercials. Music lovers: Spend a peaceful weekend morning listening to Sleepy Hollow. Tune in to World Cafe or Kid's Corner. Remember how good it felt to discover something new and hip, and don't deny your children that experience.

Susan Asher


Don't lose Civil War relics

More precious historical artifacts leaving our fair city and to where (Editorial, Feb. 22)? Richmond! The reasons are: lack of space, funding and parking. Meanwhile, there is available space in City Hall. And what about the Victory Building on Walnut Street? It deserves a better fate than trees growing out of the roof. Where is the motivation to bring another potentially exciting attraction to the city? It certainly cannot be for lack of interest in the Civil War era. If done correctly, the museum could be another reason for tourists to come to our fair city. Or we could just shrug our shoulders and let another treasure leave.

Scott H. Abramson

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