Local Girl Scout Earns Silver Award

Savannah Barnes raised funds to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) sign installed.
photo courtesy of town of wake forest
By Getting to the Heart of a Safety Need

A local Girl Scout recently earned her Silver Award by making a Wake Forest recreation facility a safer place to play.

Several weeks ago, Savannah Barnes, a rising 9th grader at Thales Academy and member of Girl Scout Troop No. 1625, was considering how she might earn her Silver Award. The highest award attainable by Girl Scout Cadettes, the Silver Award promotes leadership and community service and encourages Girl Scouts to consider ways to make their communities better places.

Around the same time, Savannah, who takes tennis lessons at the Wake Forest’s Flaherty Park tennis courts, was moved by a story her instructor shared about a woman who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing on the courts. Fortunately, the woman survived, but her chances of survival would have been better had her playing partners known that an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was available inside the Flaherty Park Community Center.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses life threatening cardiac arrhythmias in a patient, and treats them through defibrillation, the application of an electrical shock that stops the arrhythmia and allows the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. AEDs use simple audio and visual commands to make it easy for average person to use them.

Savannah decided that she would earn her Silver Award by working with Wake Forest’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources staff and a local sign company to have a sign for the tennis courts produced and installed. To top it off, she even raised the money to pay for the sign herself.

Today, thanks to Savannah, the sign indicating the availability of an AED inside the Flaherty Park Community Center is prominently posted and clearly visible to everyone who plays tennis on the Flaherty Park courts.

“We are extremely grateful to Savannah for recognizing a need at one of our facilities, and then working with us to make that facility a safer place,” said PRCR Director Ruben Wall. “This is a wonderful example of the great things we can accomplish by working together.”

Savannah is the daughter of Angel and Chris Barnes.