The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League donated automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to every public high school in Florida's Hillsborough County and Pinellas County to support the health and safety of local student-athletes as a Super Bowl LV legacy gift. The donation reemphasized a focus on ensuring the health of students participating in all sports, including football.
"Providing the proper equipment and tools that keep student-athletes safe is critical to their development and wellbeing," said Buccaneers Co-Owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. "We're proud that these defibrillators will play a significant and much-needed role in that process as we continue to support our youngest generation by fostering opportunities for healthy competition."
AEDs are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for youth and teen athletes during exercise and many symptoms or warning signs can go unrecognized prior to sudden cardiac arrest.
"Protecting student-athletes throughout their playing career is one of our top priorities," said Roman Oben, NFL Vice President of Football Development. "We are excited to partner with the Buccaneers for this donation, which will aid student-athletes around Hillsborough and Pinellas County for years to come."
Having a functioning AED reduces the chances that sudden cardiac arrest results in a tragic outcome. The donation by the Buccaneers and the NFL ensures every public high school in Tampa Bay is equipped with a new life-saving device and is aligned with Florida High School Athletic Association (FSHAA) student-athlete safety policies related to AEDs and training for CPR and defibrillators.
"We are deeply appreciative to our partners at the Buccaneers as well as the NFL for continuing to make a meaningful impact on Hillsborough County Public Schools," said Lanness Robinson, Hillsborough County Public Schools Director of Athletics. "This generous donation will serve as added protection for student athletes, staff, and spectators, which will provide increased access to life-saving medical devices on each of our high school campuses."
"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' generous donation of AEDs to our high schools is greatly appreciated," said Al Bennett, Pinellas County Schools Director of Athletics, Prek-12 Physical Education and Health, Driver's Education and School Wellness. "Their contribution ensures that a certified athletics trainer with an AED is available at all district athletic events. The health and safety of our student-athletes and coaches is always our top priority and the Buccaneers have helped to contribute to that effort."
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