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Wakefield municipal building gets AED for gym


November 8, 2019

Kim E. Strom/Daily Globe

American Red Cross CPR instructor Frank O'Brien demonstrates how an AED (automated external defibrillator) works. An AED will now be installed in the Wakefield Municipal Building's gym. Several city employees trained Thursday on how to use the device which once turned on, walks the user through the process.


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Wakefield - The city of Wakefield and AED Energy Partners, an AED company, have joined forces to install an automated external defibrillator in the city's municipal building.

This collaboration is part of the Wakefield City Council's initiative to have an AED accessible in the municipal building, so that an individual in sudden cardiac arrest could receive life-saving shocks within minutes.

AEDs are medical devices designed to provide an electrical shock to a person who has collapsed in an sudden cardiac arrest from an irregular heart rhythm. In many cases, this shock is enough to restore the person's heart to a normal rhythm. CPR instructor Frank O'Brien said once you turn the machine on, it walks users through the process step by step.

According to American Heart Association statistics, if an AED is used within the first few minutes of a cardiac event, the victim may be up to three times as likely to survive. "Every minute a person goes without CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) the survival rate is reduced by 10%," said O'Brien. "CPR pumps oxygenated blood into the system."

The AED donation allowed the city of Wakefield to purchase an AED, alarm cabinet, and related training for eight city employees on Thursday. Employees were trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and in how to use the AED equipment.

"There are a number of reasons why some people do not respond in an emergency," said O'Brien. "They're afraid they'll do something wrong, afraid someone will sue them or are afraid of blood-born pathogens," he said. "Basically all you have to remember is to put your hands on the chest and pump hard and fast (about 120 beats per minute)," he said. "We encourage people to engage. Without that, the person has no chance."

"The addition of an AED and trained staff in the municipal building could prove to be the difference between life and death during a cardiac emergency," said city manager Robert Brown, Jr. "We are extremely grateful to partner with AED on providing lifesaving equipment and training to our community."

Vince Findley, managing director of AED, added in a prepared statement, "AED and the city of Wakefield have partnered since 2012 to provide residents with safe and reliable elecTric service.

When the city approached us about contributing toward an AED for the recreation area, we knew helping out was the right thing to do. AEP is happy to be a good neighbor to the citizens of Wakefield and we look forward to many more years of working together."


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