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OP-ED: Lions Clubs protecting local communities
December 31, 2011, 02:13 AM By Jack Van Etten

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world with more than 1.3 million members in 46,000 clubs spanning 206 countries and geographic areas. Lions Clubs are composed of men and women who volunteer their time by dedicating themselves to helping and serving others in need, and ultimately helping to make communities better and safer places to work, live and raise families.

The local Lions Clubs in District 4-C4 which includes approximately 42 Lions Clubs from San Francisco to Palo Alto have now developed a new program to not only "serve” the public, but now to "protect and serve” the public, as well as the members in our own Lions Clubs, as well.

The new program being implemented is named, "Operation Guardian Angel.” Lions District 4-C4 obtained grants for the purchase of four Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) from both the Sequoia Healthcare District and the Peninsula Health Care District. In addition to the grants, Lions District 4C4 is working with both of these agencies to help provide Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and basic AED training to our Lions volunteers at little to no cost.

During large community events sponsored by various Lions Clubs who work to help raise funding for local charities, schools, homeless programs, etc., what could the Lions Clubs do if a member of the public was to suffer immediate cardiac arrest? Local emergency services do an outstanding job responding to medical emergencies, but minutes and seconds can save lives or even prevent permanent brain damage.

Our new program "Operation Guardian Angel” will now provide the availability in each of the 4 Regions within the Lions District 4-C4, with an AED which will be made mobile and taken to large Lions sponsored community events by a Lions Volunteer trained in the use of CPR and the AED. In the event of a medical emergency, a trained Lions volunteer can, if necessary (and prior to the arrival of emergency services), provide life saving CPR or use the AED to aid the citizen or even a fellow Lions volunteer who might be stricken when volunteering at the event.

District 4-C4 Governor Esther Lee, her District Cabinet officers and every single Lions Club member within San Francisco County, San Mateo County and the city of Palo Alto not only adhere to our Lions organization motto, "We Serve,” but are now taking our service and commitment to our communities a step further to now "Protect and Serve” those who we help and support.”

All of the clubs in Lions District 4-C4 thank both local health care districts for their generosity and sharing our Lions vision to help and protect the citizens in every community we serve in, but also to help protect our Lions volunteers who work so hard serving others in need.


Jack Van Etten wrote this on behalf of Esther Lee, district 4-C4 governor. Van Etten is the chairman of the Lions District 4-C4, Operation Guardian Angel Program. He can be reached at 692-3360 or by email at Jackusf74@comcast.net.


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