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Wheeling Residents Donate AED for City’s Patterson Pickleball Courts

Wheeling Fire Department EMS Officer Lt. Jason Milton spent some time with the pickleball players demonstrating how to use the AED unit.

WHEELING – A social media post about a pickleball player who was revived with an automated external defibrillator after collapsing prompted a Wheeling couple to donate an AED for use at the city’s Patterson pickleball courts.

Avid pickleball players Mark and Diana Mey recently purchased the AED for use at the Patterson complex when the pickleball courts are in use.

“Mark and I started thinking about donating an AED earlier this year and when I read a Facebook post about a man in Arizona who collapsed while playing pickleball and was revived with an AED that was kept on the courts,” said Diana Mey. “I just felt it was confirmation that we should buy one to donate for use at our local courts. Frankly though, we hope it never has to be used.”

Ward 6 Councilor Dave Palmer said he appreciates the forethought put into the Meys’ decision for such a donation and it very well may save a life. The Patterson complex is in Palmer’s ward.

“Having lost my brother, Jimmy, when he was 38 while he was playing basketball, I often wonder if there had been an AED available that night if the outcome would have been different,” Palmer said. “As the popularity of pickleball grows, having such a life-saving device at the courts certainly is beneficial.”

Diana Mey noted that Lt. Jason Milton, an EMS officer with the Wheeling Fire Department, spent some of his personal time with the pickleball players and demonstrated how to use the AED unit.

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, with 26-40 round holes, over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports: the dimensions and layout of a badminton court and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis, with several modifications. Pickleball was invented in the mid 1960s as a children’s backyard game.

With the growth in popularity, Wheeling City Council recently voted to refurbish a tennis court at the Patterson complex to include pickleball lines. In addition to resurfacing, the renovations include new fencing and new sidewalks that are ADA compliant.

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