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Newtown Upgrades Lifesaving Automatic Defibrillators

Four older and outdated automatic external defibrillators in town have been replaced with new Philips HeartStart OnSite AEDs — one at the municipal center, one at the police headquarters, and two with the Parks & Recreation Department for use at the town pool at Treadwell Park and the other at Eichler’s Cove marina.

An AED is an important lifesaving tool when used on a patient in cardiac arrest. The AED is able to read the heart rhythm of the patient and if needed, deliver a shock in an attempt for the heart to restart in a rhythm that will circulate blood around the body.

These state-of-the-art and easier to use AEDs replace older versions that were at the end of their life cycle, according to the provider, David Larson, president of Defib Guy.

Mr Larson explained that the new AEDs have the electrode pads preattached and automatically give clear instructions to the user when the front cover is first removed. Unlike the AEDs being replaced, the new AEDs have electrode pads designed for use with children and infants.

“Having been a volunteer firefighter and EMT in town for a number of years, I have seen firsthand the importance of providing quick care with an AED for people who are in cardiac arrest,” Mr Larson said. “Some people are worried that they may hurt a person using the AED or that it is complicated, but doing something is better than doing nothing.”

If someone is not trained in CPR, they can still help the patient, he added. The American Heart Association recommends:

1. Call 911;

2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest without stopping;

3. Send someone to get the AED; and

4. Attach the AED and follow the instructions broadcast by the unit.

Defib Guy started in 2009 with the purpose of saving lives by helping companies maintain AEDs in serviceable condition and teaching CPR classes. Mr Larson offers sales, service, and maintenance plans for AEDs throughout Connecticut.

All of the company’s staff members are trained EMTs, each of whom brings years of experience performing CPR and using AEDs in real life settings.

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