Grant funds school district upgrade of lifesaving AED devices
Grant funds school district upgrade of lifesaving AED devices
Posted on 12/21/2015
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WEST HAVEN, Dec. 7, 2015 — The West Haven Public School District has replaced its aging automated external defibrillators—lifesaving devices that can help someone having a heart attack—thanks to a recently awarded Community Development Administration Block Grant.

The $23,443 grant allowed for the replacement of 16 AEDs spread throughout the school system’s buildings and for one additional AED at Veterans Memorial Field, which is maintained by the city and used by youth leagues and teams.

“We’re very appreciative that the CDA supported our plan to upgrade the AEDs and agreed to fund the project. These devices are here for the safety of staff and students, as well as families who attend school events,” said Donna Kosiorowski, supervisor of the district’s School Health Services.

Gail Burns, School Health Department data entry clerk, worked with the city and CDA to secure the grant this fall, since the school district’s old AEDs—which last about eight years—were close to expiring.  All of the district’s buildings also now have signs indicating they are AED facilities and listing the location of ADE units.

The small, portable devices are kept in cases on walls in certain areas of school buildings. Principals, nurses and coaches have been trained on AED use, but the kits are designed in a way that bystanders can also use them to help someone going into cardiac arrest while waiting for medical personnel to arrive.

As soon as the kit is opened, a recording in the device describes each step of using an AED, such as applying special pads to the patient’s bare skin so that the pads can deliver a shock.

“An emergency requiring the use of an AED can happen at any time—during the school day, at sports practice, in the middle of an after-school family activity,” Kosiorowski added. “So it’s important that our equipment is maintained and upgraded when necessary so that we are prepared to handle this kind of medical emergency.”