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More area businesses sign on to help ‘Raise the 8’

Wilheit Packaging’s Philip Wilheit Sr., president and CEO, and Steven Brock, partner, as well as NGHF's Daniel Thompson, MPH, executive director, and George Ordway, PhD, PA-C, board chairman.

Wilheit Packaging’s Philip Wilheit Sr., president and CEO, and Steven Brock, partner, as well as NGHF’s Daniel Thompson, MPH, executive director, and George Ordway, PhD, PA-C, board chairman.

Wilheit Packaging recently became the fourth area business to join the North Georgia Heart Foundation’s Raise the 8 Campaign. North Georgia Heart Foundation (NGHF) Executive Director Daniel Thompson, MPH, and board chairman George Ordway, PhD, PA-C, recently visited the Gainesville business where they trained employees in hands-only CPR and how to use the AED they purchased as part of the campaign.

Each year in the United States, about 365,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest – an average of about 1,000 per day. In North Georgia only about 8 percent of those who experience cardiac arrest outside of the hospital survive, but the survival rate is much higher in cities like Seattle due to widespread availability of AEDs and a focused effort to train the public on hands-only CPR. NGHF’s Raise the 8 campaign seeks to change that ominous number by partnering with area businesses to provide bystander CPR training and readily available AEDs.

Butch Miller and the staff at Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville show off they AED they purchased as part of NGHF's "Raise the 8" campaign.

Butch Miller and the staff at Milton Martin Honda in Gainesville show off the AED they purchased as part of NGHF’s “Raise the 8” campaign.

“Joining Raise the 8 was a no-brainer for us,” said Philip Wilheit Sr., CEO and President of Wilheit Packaging. “By installing an AED in our warehouse and training our employees, we are not only protecting the safety of our employees and our visitors, but it’s an easy, potentially life-saving way to give back to the community.”

To date, nearly 450 employees at area businesses including Wilheit Packaging, Turner, Wood & Smith, Milton Martin Honda and Lincoln Financial Group – Atlanta, have joined the campaign. By purchasing an AED and having their staff receive training, these business leaders are not only ensuring their employees and customers are better protected, but they are also contributing to the purchase of AEDs that will be placed in emergency responder vehicles, churches or places of public gathering.

“If you have cardiac arrest and someone calls 911 without doing anything else – it could be close to 10 minutes before help arrives in some areas,” Thompson said. “That means your chances of survival are greatly reduced, which is why having an AED nearby and knowing how to perform hands-only CPR is so important. This is the only way we can save lives and improve survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest.”

Interested in joining Raise the 8? Click here.