Library now equipped with its own defibrillator.
Byline: J.P. Ellery
WEST BROOKFIELD - Town officials say they've received a grant that adds an opportunity to save someone's life.
Merriam-Gilbert Public Library on West Main Street (Route 9) has received a $2,220 grant from the Wing Health Foundation to buy a defibrillator defibrillator, device that delivers an electrical shock to the heart in order to stop certain forms of rapid heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias). The shock changes a fibrillation to an organized rhythm or changes a very rapid and ineffective cardiac rhythm to a for the library. Once in place, it will mean that most public buildings and all police cruisers in town will be equipped with the device.
The foundation awards grants twice yearly to recipients active in community service. Applicants must be located in the service area of Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer.
Town Executive Secretary Johanna C. Barry said Paul J. Lupacchino of the local rescue squad
“Rescue squad” redirects here. For other uses, see Rescue squad (disambiguation). and ambulance service assisted library officials in securing the grant.
More than three years ago, Police Chief C. Thomas O'Donnell Jr. asked voters to buy four defibrillators, one for each police cruiser in town.
More recently, the chief said, grant money became available though the state Executive Office of Public Safety and the town obtained two more units, one for West Brookfield Elementary School elementary school: see school. on North Main Street and the other for the Senior Center at Front and Central streets.
One is not necessary in Town Hall, where the police station is located, he said, because a defibrillator is readily available in a cruiser.
"In the wintertime, when we have to leave them in the building (Town Hall), there is usually one in the building, but other times there is one sitting right outside the building (in a cruiser)," the chief said.
The chief cannot recall the defibrillators being used yet to restore a patient's heart rhythm Noun 1. heart rhythm - the rhythm of a beating heart
regular recurrence, rhythm - recurring at regular intervals
atrioventricular nodal rhythm, nodal rhythm - the normal cardiac rhythm when the heart is controlled by the , but having the devices at key locations is a real plus, he said.
All police officers and various other town personnel have been trained in the use of the defibrillator, the chief said, and the units are designed to be user friendly.
"What happens when you defibrillate de·fib·ril·late
tr.v. de·fib·ril·lat·ed, de·fib·ril·lat·ing, de·fib·ril·lates
To stop the fibrillation of (a heart) and restore normal contractions through the use of drugs or an electric shock. a heart," Chief O'Donnell said, "is that is when the heart is in fibrillation fibrillation /fi·bril·la·tion/ (fi?bri-la´shun)
1. the quality of being made up of fibrils.
2. a small, local, involuntary, muscular contraction, due to spontaneous activation of single muscle cells or muscle , it's shaking; the chambers aren't firing in a coherent pattern. What the shock does is force them back into a coherent pattern."
He said that what is good about this device is "it will tell you whether or not you should shock the person. It's simple to use."
Because such defibrillators are so easy to operate, the chief said, they are more and more available in shopping malls, airports and places with large public gatherings.
The hope is to see them become as commonplace as fire extinguishers.
"The whole point to having these out in the community is that pretty much anyone who's CPR-trained, to push to train all of those people to be able to use these things," Chief O'Donnell said.
The American Red Cross American Red Cross: see Red Cross. and the American Heart Association American Heart Association (AHA),
n.pr a national voluntary health agency that has the goal of increasing public and medical awareness of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and thereby reducing the number of associated deaths and disabilities. have defibrillator training courses for laypeople lay·peo·ple or lay people
Laymen and laywomen. , according to the chief.