A joint effort by the Watch Hill Fire District and the Westerly / Charlestown Heart Safe Community Committee has resulted in an additional public safety grant this year from the Commander Roberts Foundation. The grant was used to further expand the number of publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillators available within the Watch Hill community and to install four secure access boxes which allow year round access twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.
The Watch Hill Fire District started this project to enhance cardiac arrest survival rates by originally obtaining a grant three years ago from the Roberts Foundation to improve the ability of local first responders, residents, and guests to respond to cardiac arrest emergencies. Grant funding in the amount of $30,000 from the Roberts Foundation was used to improve the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest by replacing outdated training and response equipment, adding new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the shoreline public areas and providing free CPR and AED training to encourage residents to become trained, certified and proficient in these basic lifesaving procedures.
The initial funds were used to purchase twelve Automated External Defibrillators and place them on emergency vehicles and in public locations along the shoreline area, to train and certify 250 residents in CPR & AED, and to promote the locations of the public AEDs.
This year, the Watch Hill Fire Department was awarded an additional $14,500 to further improve the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest in Watch Hill by purchasing four AEDs that will be secured in four newly developed Public Access Security Enclosure Boxes that were imported from England. These have been installed throughout the Watch Hill village area and will provide immediate access to this lifesaving equipment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
This request was supported by the Watch Hill Fire District Council, the Watch Hill Parks Commission, the Westerly Ambulance Corps, and the Westerly Police Department.
The new AEDs and the Public Access Security Enclosure Boxes have been installed in areas with high pedestrian traffic including at the Watch Hill Fire District Merry Go Round Ticket Office, at the Watch Hill Fire District Bay Street Parking Lot Booth, at the Watch Hill Fire District Larkin Road Parking Lot Booth, and at the Lanphere Livery Complex at One Bay Street. An additional AED at the Watch Hill Chapel was also installed as part of this project.
Our appreciation is extended to David Hiltz and to Code One Training Solutions for their assistance in facilitating the purchase of the AEDs and the import of the Public Access Security Enclosure Boxes.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation is extended to the Commander Roberts Foundation for their continued grants and support!
We firmly believe that these 24/7 publicly accessible AED’s will save lives!