First Responders, OCCF Support Lifesaving Training

In an emergency, saving a life may come down to understanding how. Thanks to a Port Clinton Firefighters Association grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF), and additional support through the Dr. Derrill Hablitzel Family Fund, first responders from Port Clinton Fire & Rescue are increasing the community’s lifesaving knowledge.

CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. In 2021, OCCF provided a grant utilized by Port Clinton Fire & Rescue to purchase top-quality CPR training equipment, including mannequins with electronic sensors used while instructing proper technique for administering chest compressions to a victim.

EMT Amber Ramos provides infant CPR training to OCCF Trustees Tina Hablitzel and Paul Druckenmiller.

“OCCF and the Hablitzel Family paid for all equipment and training needed to fund our American Heart Association program,” said EMS Captain Brian Gutman. “Since its inception in November 2021, we have certified 109 individuals in CPR. Our goal is to reach out to local businesses and groups to help saturate the community in bystander CPR training.”

According to the American Heart Association, in a single year, approximately 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest. CPR, especially if administered immediately after an incident, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. OCCF administrators and trustees recently experienced the impact of their own organization’s grant-giving during a CPR training session with Captain Gutman and fellow EMTs Amber Ramos, Rebekah Huskey and Jodie Brown.

Mary Coffee and John Madison learn the proper technique to do chest compressions during training by Port Clinton Fire & Rescue EMTs Amber Ramos (left) and Rebekah Huskey.

“The Hablitzel Family felt this was a very worthwhile project for all of Ottawa County,” said Tina Hablitzel, an OCCF Trustee who took the CPR training. “It was so rewarding to take part in this. The new interactive equipment actually gives you feedback to let you know you are doing the compressions correctly. This is a wonderful service our first responders offer to our community.”

Port Clinton Fire & Rescue answers emergency calls for fires, motor vehicle accidents, confined space rescues, high angle rescues, hazmat calls, ice rescues and water rescues, among others. Having already conducted several other CPR training sessions at the fire station, Captain Gutman indicated that first responders will offer the course to interested businesses and area senior centers. Going forward, the Port Clinton High School Senior Class will also be offered CPR training each year.

OCCF Executive Director Shea McGrew noted that OCCF gave more than $136,500 in community grants to organizations and community projects across the county, in 2021, and the recent CPR training was a rare opportunity to experience, firsthand, the power of OCCF’s grantmaking.

“We each came away with an important lifesaving skill, of course, but also with a lasting impression of the dedication of our first responders,” concluded McGrew. “It’s a fine example of an OCCF grant having a multiplier effect. This enables the delivery of a valuable service to increasing numbers of citizens … well into the future. May we continue to harness our collective efforts to touch the community in such meaningful ways.”

Groups interested in receiving CPR training may contact EMS Captain Brian Gutman, pcems@portclinton-oh.gov, or the fire station, 419-734-3430. Classes are held at the fire station, or training may also be conducted onsite at a business or organization. EMTs are certified to instruct CPR (adult, pediatric, infant), AED, First Aid, ACLS and PALS.

OCCF offers a variety of giving options for supporting the needs of the community and furthering its goal of Doing Good. Forever. For more information or to support future OCCF grant opportunities, visit ottawaccf.org, email ottawaccf@gmail.com, or call 419-635-7750Established in 1999, Ottawa County Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created to enrich the quality of life throughout Ottawa County. With more than 100 funds and assets of more than $12 million, the Foundation provides annual community grants and scholarships, while offering philanthropic services for individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Information: ottawaccf “at”gmail.com, www.ottawaccf.org, 419-635-7750
Office: 306 Madison Street, Port Clinton, open noon – 3 p.m., every Wednesday.
Donations: Make online with credit card or mail check to Ottawa County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 36, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.