Sonoma County youth sports leagues buying defibrillators after Rohnert Park boy's collapse

  • Sebastopol Little League board member Andy Pforsich poses for a portrait with two new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that will be placed at the two baseball fields used by the Little League in Sebastopol, Calif., on April 26, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Defibrillators as a safety feature at youth baseball parks has seemed a good idea to many league officials.

Now, since an 8-year-old Rohnert Park batter was hit in the chest with a pitch and needed CPR and a defibrillator to save his life, it's more of a necessity.

"It's something we're definitely doing. An event of this kind puts a lot more priority to it," said Keith Warner, district commissioner for the North Bay Babe Ruth Baseball League.

Rohnert Park Cal Ripken Baseball, home league to the injured boy, is buying four of the devices.

In Sebastopol, Little League officials already were gathering information about the cost and types available when board members learned of the near-fatal incident in Rohnert Park.

"The issue with the little boy ramped up the thing," said Sebastopol board member Andy Pforsich. The response was, "Let's go for it."

Sebastopol quickly approved the purchase of two, at a cost of $1,630 each, which were delivered Friday.

Petaluma National Little League already has one and Rincon Valley Little League officials plan to have one in time for a May barbecue, where they'll offer defibrillator and hands-only CPR training.

Rincon Valley Little League safety officer Mark Brown has been urging his board to get one for the past year.

"There was some trepidation. These are not cheap to buy," Brown said.

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