2002-08-24 / Community

SJEH and Lighthouse Inc.

Making Shores Safe

Making Shores Safe

Bands of young people have been invading Rockaway beaches this summer with a cause. Squadrons of teenagers trained to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and administer first aid and oxygen therapy have been patrolling the boardwalk and beaches to help in emergencies.

Thanks to St. John's Episcopal Hospital South Shore and the Phones for Life Program, run by Dee L'Archeveque, M.D. Chairman of the Emergency Medicine Department at St. John's, the patrol members are now outfitted in tee shirts identifying them as members of Lighthouse Inc. Summer Youth Medical Response.

"By wearing the tee shirts, these specially trained individuals will be easily identifiable to anyone needing their services, and will have a high level of visibility and professionalism," Dr. L'Archeveque said.

The youth program was created by Lighthouse Inc., a nonprofit organization formed by Battalion Pentecostal Assembly, a coalition of 14 Far Rockaway churches and headed by Pastor Donald Ventura. It helps train young people for a career in Emergency Medical Services.

"This is a wonderful program in which young people are able to do good for the community while gaining valuable skills in CPR and First Aid, and St. John's is proud to support the organization," said Luis A. Hernandez, St. John's Chief Executive Officer, who along with Dr. L'Archeveque recently attended a ceremony to honor the achievements of Lighthouse, Inc.

Small medical tents with first aid equipment are set up on the beach and the youth squad will have radios to communicate directly with lifeguards and 911. In addition to providing tee shirts, St. John's will offer support for Lighthouse, Inc.'s CPR and First Aid Training programs.

"Working with St. John's to educate the community on public safety and health issues has been rewarding and we look forward to working together more closely in the future," Pastor Ventura said.

Lighthouse will graduate its first group of participants in a ceremony at Batallion Pentecostal Assembly on Saturday, August 31.

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