How it Started
Dewey was a SAGA Construction Superintendent who stricken by chest pains on May 28th, following a final run thru of two new homes in KDH at about 7:00 AM, and as stars align, Capt. Mark Evans was driving nearby and responded, incidentally, with the only Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on patrol that day. Subsequently, we found out this was one of only two available for 15 cars and the most likely First Responder in OBX is a Patrol Officer. Capt. Evans was that Officer and he revived Dewey Parr. Once the dust settled it occurred to SAGA that the odds of being saved were more by chance than a realistic possibility. So when SAGA met with Chief Gary Britt, Deputy Chief, Dana Harris and Capt. Evans the result was an alliance for SAGA to create a challenge for the business community to raise enough funds to purchase 15 AED’s, in order to have one in every KDH patrol car.
This effort was so successful that even before the Kick-Off breakfast on July 31, 2013 (a little less than a month) the SAGA Challenge goal was exceeded with enough funds to purchase 25 units, considerably more than the 15 required by KDH.
This happened because of the outstanding attitude of the business community, rallying together to resolve a common problem as part of a Public/Private Partnership.
Major Milestones/Key achievements
Dewey was a SAGA Construction Superintendent who stricken by chest pains on May 28th, following a final run thru of two new homes in KDH at about 7:00 AM, and as stars align, Capt. Mark Evans was driving nearby and responded, incidentally, with the only Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on patrol that day. Subsequently, we found out this was one of only two available for 15 cars and the most likely First Responder in OBX is a Patrol Officer. Capt. Evans was that Officer and he revived Dewey Parr.
At a recent kickoff breakfast where we presented the initial funds to purchase 16 AED units.
As the Challenge continued in 2013 our friend and fellow worker Dewey passed on in mid September. To honor his experience and remember his efforts the program was renamed the Dewey Parr Memorial Challenge, as he was instrumental in helping to promote the effort while he lived, both thru a video produced by KDH PD, Directed by Detective Sgt. John Towler and is available as a teaching tool on You Tube, by Police Departments throughout NC and the support he endeared from his family and many friends.
In honor of Dewey Parr, SAGA Construction teamed with Max Radio to continue their fundraiser to ensure every Dare County police car is equipped with AED (Automated External Defibrillator) equipment. The initiative was launched by Russ Lay, along with the help of Max Radio of Carolinas, and the SkyDiveOBX team of Heather McLay and Sven Jseppi, who donated their skydive services as well as the plane, fuel and knowledge to make the event possible. The fundraising event took place without a hitch and raised $3,555.
As the challenge grew beyond the initial requirements, SAGA found that donors were also earmarking the funds to other OBX communities and the resulting goal grew from 15 to an AED in every Patrol Car in The Outer Banks or approx. 62 and the Kick–Off Breakfast upped the goal to include an AED in every patrol vehicle on the Outer Banks.
So, a big Bravo to the approximately100 people that comprised a team of construction, real estate, bankers, subcontractors, and private sector members from our Community on land and even in the air, we had four willing to Sky Dive (see video) as well as the friends of the Parr family from Buxton to Ohio and everywhere else who responded. By July of 2013 enough funds were raised to purchase 25 units and by year-end a total of $22,000 (or the equivalent of 44 units) were distributed to Manteo, Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and DARE County in varying amounts. The Town of Duck had previously outfitted all their cars.
As a result of this challenge and fundraising, on April 27, 2014, for the second time in less than a year, Kill Devil Hills Police officers used a department-issued automated external defibrillator to save the life of a victim of cardiac arrest.
SAGA Construction announced the creation of the Community Recognition Award for Life Saving Actions of Police Officers using an AED in honor of the Memory of Dewey Parr III, whose life was saved on May 26th 2013.