Public defibrillators now available, devices donated by Sisters@Heart

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From left: state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough), Town Manager Michael Borg, state Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro), Caitlan Kane, Jamie McHoul-O’Hanlon, Lisa Deck and Allyson Perron during the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Veterans Park on Sunday, April 28. Courtesy photo
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North Attleborough now has five publicly accessible automated external defibrillator (AED) devices, which were donated by Sisters@Heart, for use in the event of an emergency, according to an announcement from the town.

On Sunday, April 28, Sisters@Heart, a local non-profit organization founded and directed by North Attleborough residents Lisa Deck, Jamie McHoul-O’Hanlon and Caitlan Kane, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Veterans Park with Town Manager Michael Borg, Town Council Vice President John Simmons, Fire Chief Christopher Coleman, state Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) and state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough).

The five AED devices donated to the town have been placed in areas where cardiac arrests are likely to occur – Veterans Park, the High Street fields, Mason Field, the Beaupre Field concession stand and Community Field. Each device is housed in a weather-proof, heated and lighted cabinet that can be accessed by the public in the event of an emergency.

“North Attleborough just became a leader in the commonwealth with the installation of publicly accessible AEDs,” O’Hanlon said. “It is our great privilege to be able to serve the community and we hope it brings peace of mind to residents knowing they have the proper tools to save lives in case of emergencies.”

During the ceremony, officials spoke about the importance of having AEDs in the community that are readily available. Coleman cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stating that more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are reported annually in the United States and that 70-90% of people who’ve experienced cardiac arrests outside of a hospital die before ever reaching one. However, the use of an AED within minutes of cardiac arrest can drastically increase the rate of survival.

To access the devices, one must call 911 to receive an access code to open the locked cabinet. Once opened, the cabinet will include the device and directions to follow while waiting for first responders.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Sisters@Heart for their unwavering support and commitment to our town,” Borg said. “Their dedication to heart health and proactive approach to community partnership have been instrumental in making this project a reality. By working together, we can implement practical solutions to enhance public safety, improve health outcomes, and build stronger, more resilient communities.”

Earlier this year, the town committed $25,000 to Sisters@Heart to address a shortfall caused by Gov. Maura Healey’s recent 9C cuts, in order to ensure the completion of this project. Prior to the cuts, Feeney and Scanlon advocated for $50,000 to be allocated to Sisters@Heart for the defibrillators.

“North Attleborough will always be first in its commitment to public health due to the leadership and passion of organizations like Sisters@Heart,” Scanlon said. “Our commonwealth’s budget is a moral reflection of our values, and I am proud to support initiatives like this that will assist in preserving public health through a strong partnership with lifesavers like Sisters@Heart.”