Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Georgetown Fire Department to Participate in National CPR and AED Awareness Week
GEORGETOWN – Chief Fred A. Mitchell is proud to announce that the Georgetown Fire Department is participating in National CPR and AED Awareness Week starting today.
National CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) Awareness Week, which runs from June 1-7, was originally created by the American Heart Assocation (AHA) in collaboration with the American Red Cross and National Safety Council.
The awareness week aims to demonstrate the importance of knowing hands-on CPR and how to use an AED — a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
“As a department, we are hyper-aware of the necessity of educating our residents on CPR and first aid,” Chief Mitchell said. “It is essential that we, as firefighters and EMTs, teach our community to care for each other in the face of danger. We are proud to have such sophisticated CPR measures in place for the safety of the town.”
As of last year, every public building in Georgetown has been equipped with at least one publicly-accessible AED, installed and maintained by the Georgetown Fire Department. In addition, the department has trained all town employees in first aid, CPR, and AED use.
As a HEARTSafe Community, Georgetown demonstrates an exceptional level of commitment to raising awareness of cardiac arrest emergencies and emergency response. This designation, awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, recognizes towns who both educate their communities and provide access to life-saving tools in public places.
Georgetown Fire offers CPR and first aid classes to members of the public, other healthcare providers and community groups. Over the past three years, the department has taught 50 CPR/first aid classes to more than 350 participants.
The Fire Department also rigorously trains its officers in responding to cardiac arrest emergencies. Georgetown was the first agency in this area to adopt cardiocerebral resuscitation protocols, an advanced form of CPR. In addition, the town purchased a LUCAS automated CPR device, which provides high-quality continuous compressions beyond what can be done by manual CPR. As a result, the town has seen an increase in the cardiac arrest survival rate every year since 2013.
About National CPR and AED Awareness Week:
In 2007, the AHA, in collaboration with the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council, worked to federally designate a National CPR and AED Awareness Week. On December 13, 2007, Congress unanimously passed a resolution to set aside June 1-7 each year as National CPR and AED Awareness Week to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. In the declaration, Congress asked states and municipalities to make AEDs more publicly accessible. During this week each year, CPR/AED classes and demonstrations are conducted, events are hosted and educational information is distributed on the importance of being trained in CPR and AED use.