‘Dowagiac United’: Fire department, youth associations team up to purchase AED for Russom Park

Published 2:03 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

DOWAGIAC — A group of local organizations teamed up in an effort to keep Russom Park athletes and guests safe.

The Dowagiac Youth Baseball and Softball Association, Dowagiac Youth Football, The Bryan Frazier Memorial and Dowagiac Fire Department recently announced their collaborative purchase of an Automated External Defibrillator to be accessible to in-season sports played at Russom Fields. 

With the Dowagiac Youth Soccer Association already having an AED on the complex and having a schedule that runs concurrent with both youth baseball and football, the organizations saw a need and came together without question to ensure the safety of young local athletes and all those who visit Russom Fields. 

“It is a very big complex and that is not a piece of equipment we would want to share,” said  DYBSA President Kristi Frazier. “Hopefully we would never have to use it. We all started talking and came together and we were able to purchase it.”

The new AED ensures the youth organizations will be prepared and equipped when administering life-saving measures.

“If someone goes into cardiac arrest, we will all be much more prepared and equipped when administering life-saving measures,” said DFD Chief Tony Stewart. “The Dowagiac Fire Department hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds for efforts such as these. When asked, our firefighters didn’t hesitate to utilize some of those raised funds to ensure the safety of our community members and the young athletes.”

The Bryan Frazier Memorial raises funds to support The Bryan Frazier Memorial Scholarship, given to a graduating baseball player who is continuing his education at a collegiate level. The scholarship honors Kristi’s brother Bryan and aims to help others fulfill his dream that he was unable to complete. 

BFM has donated AEDs to Dowagiac schools in the past and has made contributions to youth sports in the community.

“To be able to help donate to a project like this means a lot,” she said.

For Frazier, the collaboration was the latest example of the community embodying the slogan “Dowagiac United.”

“The smaller organizations in Dowagiac are starting to come back together for youth athletics in the community,” she said. “Everyone is getting on the same page and realizing that as a group, we can move forward with a lot of things. It’s a very good step in uniting all of our different organizations.”