Watch Hill Fire Department
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WHFD Expands Emergency Equipment in the Public Access AED / EMS / FIRE Boxes Located Throughout Watch Hill
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By Chief Robert Peacock
October 11, 2021

A continuing joint effort by the Watch Hill Fire District, the Westerly Ambulance, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and the Westerly Heart Safe Community Committee with substantial financial support from the Commander Roberts Foundation has resulted in an expansion of the equipment in the five public access AED / EMS / FIRE boxes which allow climate controlled secured storage with year round 911 access twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.

While many of the surrounding residents and business owners have been provided with the access code in advance. a member of the public can gain rapid access to the equipment by simply dialing 911 to report the emergency and asking the 911 dispatcher for the access code to the box.

The Watch Hill Fire District started this project to enhance cardiac arrest survival rates by originally obtaining a grant from the Commander Roberts Foundation to improve the ability of local first responders, residents, and guests to respond to cardiac arrest emergencies.

The Commander Roberts Foundation provided initial grant funding in the amount of $30,000 to improve the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest by replacing outdated training and response equipment, adding new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the shoreline public areas, and providing free CPR and AED training to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. Twelve Automated External Defibrillators were placed on emergency vehicles and in public locations and approximately 250 residents were trained and certified in CPR & AED using new training equipment.

The Commander Roberts Foundation then awarded the Watch Hill Fire Department an additional $14,500 to further improve the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest in Watch Hill by purchasing five additional AEDs that are secured in five Public Access AED / EMS / FIRE Boxes installed throughout the Watch Hill village area. These boxes provide immediate access to this lifesaving equipment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

The Watch Hill Fire District then provided additional funding to add a fire extinguisher and a bleeding control bag with EMS equipment including tourniquets and combat bleeding control gauze to the boxes.

The Westerly Ambulance and the Rhode Island Department of Health then provided additional funding to add a dual dose Naloxone Administration Kit, commonly known as Narcan, to the boxes.

The Public Access AED / EMS / FIRE Boxes are installed in public areas with high pedestrian traffic including at the Watch Hill Fire District Merry Go Round Ticket Office by the Public Bathrooms, at the Watch Hill Fire District Bay Street Parking Lot Booth, at the Watch Hill Fire District Larkin Road Parking Lot Booth, at the Lanphear Livery Complex at One Bay Street, and at the Watch Hill Memorial Library on Everett Avenue.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation is extended to the Commander Roberts Foundation for their continued generous financial support!

We firmly believe that this 24/7 publicly accessible AED / EMS / FIRE equipment will save lives!


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