Keeping Willistonians’ hearts beating

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff 

November 14th, 2013

Williston is about to get a little safer.

Local company RESTART, which teaches American Heart Association certification courses such as CPR and first aid, is set to teach lifesaving techniques to approximately 30 local Girl Scout troop leaders this week.

RESTART owner Josh Dishaw said he plans to start small with local troop leaders, but hopes to eventually expand the program, offering courses to scouts themselves.

“We really need to focus on getting as many people certified as we can,” he said. “It blows my mind that people aren’t doing this already for the nonprofit organizations.”

At least one person at any Girl Scout event must be certified in CPR and first aid—an out-of-pocket cost that can run $100 per person.

Williston resident Betsey Dempsey is the Girl Scout’s regional new leader mentor.

“My feeling is if the leader is going to volunteer their time with Girls Scouts, she shouldn’t have to pay for the necessary training,” she said.

She set out to find an affordable way to get troop leaders certified, posting a request on Front Porch Forum.

“Josh emailed me back and said he would donate his time, which was absolutely incredible,” she said. “We’re very thankful that he’s willing to do this for us. It’s a great service.”

Dishaw, who was a medic for 13 years before launching RESTART, said he mainly contracts with hospitals, but wanted to add a community service component to his company. He hopes to do his part in the American Heart Association’s mission to increase bystander CPR rates and the cardiovascular health of all Americans.

“I want to make sure, as myself and a company, we do something that makes a difference and I think the goal for now is to follow what (American Heart Association) sets out as their major goals and do everything we can to further them,” Dishaw said.