Auto dealers donate to Red Cross

For more than 35 years, new-vehicle dealers have donated Little Anne cardiopulmonary resuscitation training manikins to hospitals, police and fire departments and schools in the U.S. through the Medical Grants program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.

Reineke Family of Dealerships, in conjunction with the National and Ohio Automobile Dealer Associations, presented a Little Anne Automated External Defibrillator Training Unit to the American Red Cross Thursday at the West Market Street location in Tiffin.

“The American Red Cross is a very important piece to our community as well as across the nation” said Bill Reineke, Ohio director for the National Automobile Dealer Association. “We are happy to contribute to their efforts in helping those in need.”

Accepting the donation for the Red Cross were David Conley, director for Fostoria and Seneca County, and Mary Ellen Coneglio, director of programs and services in Northern Ohio. Representing the dealership were Bill Reineke, Dan Reineke, Suzie Reineke and Stacey Reineke. Stacey is a board member with the Hancock County Red Cross.

Coneglio said the manikins have always been a useful tool for training and demonstrations, but the newer units are lighter and more compact than earlier models. In addition, they now have been combined with AED training units. Many buildings now have defibrillators, so workers in those places can learn CPR and the use of an AED at the same time. Zach Doran of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association said the association is to distribute 16 manikins throughout the state.

The Little Anne AED Training Unit will be used in the American Red Cross Northwestern Region of Ohio, an area that stretches from Toledo to Lima and from the Indiana border to Bucyrus. The region conducts training classes in private companies, community facilities, schools and other organizations for staff and the general public.

“Red Cross training in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators is an essential link to learning lifesaving skills.” said Coneglio. “We will be using this unit mostly for demonstrations at health fairs, presentations and for teaching. This unit will allow us to demonstrate the skills and then immediately have the student practice what they have learned.”

Coneglio added the Red Cross uses manikins all the time. They have saved thousands of lives, and she expects the new unit to instruct thousands of people over its lifespan. The training unit does not deliver an electrical charge, but it allows a person to learn when to breathe, where to place the pads, how to plug them in and when to activate the unit. The AED trainer talks the life saver through the steps in using it, including when it should not be used. Almost everyone can learn the process.

“This size is able to be used for children and adults … It’s a very simple piece of equipment to take somewhere, open it up and put it on a table,” Coneglio said.

Conley hopes Red Cross instructors can teach classes at Heidelberg University and Tiffin University.

“The colleges are actually looking at us more as a partner now. I’ve actually gone to Tiffin University a couple of times already,” Conley said. “Their RAs (resident assistants) all have to have first aid, CPR and AED before they can even apply for the RA program.”

“I think this is very important,” Bill Reineke concluded. “I appreciate the Ohio Auto Dealers and the National Auto Dealers’ interaction with the community. … I think it’s important to give back to our area.”