Image courtesy of the City of Brentwood
By LANDON WOODROOF
Widely admired Brentwood teacher Doug Campbell may have passed away in April, but he is still giving back to the community through the family and friends he inspired.
Some of those family and friends gathered at Monday night’s City Commission meeting to share memories of Campbell and to relay news about a project they have been working on to install life-saving automated external defibrillators in city parks.
Campbell died on the morning of April 10 while out on a run at Crockett Park with some of his regular running buddies. Some of those running buddies began a GoFundMe campaign in August to raise money for the Doug Campbell Memorial Fund. Their intention was to install a memorial bench to Campbell near where he died and to place AEDs in parks in the hopes of saving future victims of cardiac arrest.
The bench and five AEDs were installed in September, each with its own plaque to commemorate Campbell.
“The plaque we selected to put on the pieces of equipment that were were able to purchase says coach, teacher, friend and running partner, and Doug was all of those to many of us,” Tommy Allen said Monday night.
Allen and Campbell ran together for more than 20 years. Over that period of time, Allen said he got to witness first-hand how much Campbell was loved in the Brentwood community.
“I found out how popular Doug was one afternoon when we were at the mall together,” Allen said. “We couldn’t walk 20 feet without someone saying, ‘Hello, Mr. Campbell. Hi, Mr. Campbell. Do you remember me coach?’ And you know what? He remembered every one of them. He was tremendously popular.”
Allen thanked Campbell’s friends and family for their support of the memorial fund.
He also thanked city staff and Premedics Systems, the local company that has supplied the AEDs for the parks. The memorial fund raised $4,000 to rent them and have them serviced for a year, according to a City of Brentwood news release.
The AEDs have been set up at five spots in the park, according to the release. Those spots are:
River Park restroom
Tower Park restroom
Crockett Park 1: At the restroom on the east end of the multi-purpose fields
Crockett Park 2: Near the restroom and concessions between the baseball fields
Crockett Park 3: At the restroom building at the west end of the park near the tennis courts
Brent Hetherington, of Premedics, also said that his company would be donating 10 AEDs to the city for use in police cars.
“I’m passionate about making cities safe,” Hetherington said. “We want to make it hard to die of sudden cardiac arrest in the city of Brentwood, Tennessee.”
Brentwood Fire & Rescue Chief Brian Goss said the city already enjoys a higher-than-average rate of saved lives in cases of cardiac arrest and that these new defibrillators represent the first part of a larger initiative to increase AED access in the city.
“We’re looking to expand this program preferably in the coming years and make these available again through the city especially in those areas where the risk is the greatest,” he said.
Goss said that AEDs are practically foolproof and remarkably easy to use.
“Basically, if you can unzip the case and open it, it walks you through it from there both verbally and through picture,” he said. “It tells you exactly where to place the pads, where to plug them in, when to push the button. And it self-monitors, and the technology in the units now will not … let you deliver a shock if it’s not warranted. It’s no risk. You put it on an unconscious individual with no breathing, no heartbeat, it does all the work from there.”
Fire & Rescue has prepared a video to walk someone through the process.
Commissioner Rhea Little said that the project was a prime example of what makes Brentwood such a great place to live.
“The goodness shown in this project shows that many do strive to serve others,” he said. “And I’m very grateful to be part of a community that would desire to do that, to honor the memory of a close friend and loved one.”