Press Release

St. Francis Hospital Partners With Mercy Medical Center to Provide Town of Hempstead With 50 Defibrillators for Parks, Beaches, Pools and More

August 31st, 2016

Island Park, NY - Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has announced a lifesaving initiative by St. Francis Hospital and Mercy Medical Center to donate 50 automated external defibrillators (AEDS) to parks, pools, beaches and senior centers in the town. The defibrillators, valued at $1,500 per device, were secured through a state contract by both hospitals, so there was no cost to the town.

“Defibrillators are often utilized by police, fire and other emergency personnel due to their proven ability to save lives,” stated Santino. “The Town of Hempstead commends St. Francis Hospital and Mercy Medical Center for partnering with us to provide this lifesaving equipment for town parks, beaches, pools and senior centers.”

Town personnel will receive specialized training on the proper use of the defibrillators. However, the devices also come with step-by-step instructions, so in the event of an extreme emergency, anyone can quickly learn the steps to help someone in cardiac arrest. What’s more, the devices, produced by Cardiac Science Corporation, include bilingual (Spanish/English) instructions, making them accessible to a broad population across the town. Earlier this year, town employees were able to save the life of a fellow coworker by performing CPR and using a defibrillator located nearby.

“We are pleased to be able to support such an important, lifesaving initiative,” said Patricia Daye, vice president of ambulatory services for St. Francis, who agreed to supply half of the AEDs after being approached by Ronald Steimel, chief administrative officer of Mercy Medical Center, a fellow Catholic Health Services hospital.

“Having these potentially lifesaving devices available at these venues will benefit residents and visitors of all ages in an emergency situation, and having quick access to them is key to surviving a cardiac emergency,” said Louise Spadaro, MD, director of the Cardiac Outreach Program at St. Francis.

According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 350,000 reported cardiac arrest cases per year in the United States, and only 10 percent of those victims survive. In instances where a victim is immediately administered CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival are doubled. What’s more, for every minute that a victim is in cardiac arrest without help, the survival odds are decreased by 10 percent.

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