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NFL, Bucs Donate AEDs to Florida High Schools

Andy Berg

The NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have donated automated external defibrillators to every public high school in Florida’s Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

The donation is part of a Super Bowl LV legacy gift to Tampa Bay high schools, according to a post on the Buccaneers’ website.

"Providing the proper equipment and tools that keep student-athletes safe is critical to their development and wellbeing," said Buccaneers co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. "We're proud that these defibrillators will play a significant and much-needed role in that process as we continue to support our youngest generation by fostering opportunities for healthy competition."

AEDs are portable, life-saving devices designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a medical condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for youth and teen athletes during exercise and many symptoms or warning signs can go unrecognized prior to sudden cardiac arrest. 

"Protecting student-athletes throughout their playing career is one of our top priorities," said Roman Oben, NFL vice president of football development. "We are excited to partner with the Buccaneers for this donation, which will aid student-athletes around Hillsborough and Pinellas County for years to come."

The donation by the Buccaneers and the NFL ensures every public high school in Tampa Bay is equipped with a new life-saving device and is aligned with Florida High School Athletic Association (FSHAA) student-athlete safety policies related to AEDs and training for CPR and defibrillators. 

The AEDs are being delivered to schools this week, coinciding with the start of the FHSAA flag football season. Last week, the Buccaneers hosted the third annual Girls Flag Football Preseason Classic, presented by AdventHealth. The largest girls flag football event in the nation, more than 1,200 athletes from throughout the state competed in the three-day event in preparation for the start of the season.

In addition to donating AEDs, local high school tackle and flag football coaches are receiving Buccaneers apparel, notebooks and office items as ambassadors for the Buccaneers' and NFL's youth football initiatives.

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