The Team Jamaica Bickle “Defibrillator to Schools Program,” was initiated in 2014 after the loss of St. Jago High School athlete, Cavahn McKenzie at a cross-country meet in Tobago. This caused the organization to consider the lack of emergency resources in Jamaican schools. That year, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) unit was donated to St. Jago High School at the Penn Relays. A Medical Pavilion in his honour was erected in the TJB Village where athletes could get medical and dental information and be trained in CPR. It continues to be a feature today.
In 2016 another athlete Dominique James, of St. Georges’ College tragically lost his life during a Manning Cup game. This unfortunate event spurred TJB to ramp up the CPR training & AED donations to better prepare schools for emergencies.
The program has received the support of the Ministry of Education, Government Agencies, The Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA), Corporate Jamaica and the Diaspora.
Since 2014 the organization has donated over 90 AED units to schools, trained over 250 staff and influenced the donation of several others to various institutions. The goal is to outfit each high school across the Island with a unit.
“We have seen where our efforts have inspired other Diaspora organizations contribute AEDs to several schools and medical institutions,” said Irwine Clare, Snr. the organization’s Chairman and Founder. “We are encouraged and remain committed to the goal of outfitting all High Schools.”