For Villa Maria athletic trainer Caroline Oakley, this week is better late than never. On Thursday, January 7, 2016, Chester County EMS Council, Inc. presented Caroline with its Citizen Award. The award, dated May 23, 2013, recognizes “a citizen not affiliated with any Chester County Emergency Medical Services organization who participates or assists an EMS service in a heroic or exemplary manner.”
Caroline was instrumental in saving the life of Blair Allan ’14, when Blair collapsed during a training run on the VMA track in fall 2012. Caroline was track-side for a field hockey game that day, so when she was alerted to Blair’s situation she ran and grabbed Villa’s portable AED (automated external defibrillator) and used it to save her. Blair made a full recovery, and went on to advocate for AEDs in schools.
The Chester County EMS Council prepared the award for Caroline that spring, but due to miscommunication was never able to present it to her. When a Council member was on campus this week to give CPR training to the seniors, she realized that Caroline was here filling in during Marci Luty’s maternity leave, and took the opportunity to finally present her with the award.
Villa Maria remains well prepared for another emergency. There are six AEDs on campus: one in Regina Mundi, one in St. Joseph Hall, one outside the Marian Center auditorium, one outside the new fitness center, one at the trainer’s office, and a mobile unit that is brought to sporting events.