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SOUTH KINGSTOWNâ€“Due to its efforts to improve cardiac care and save lives, South Kingstown and its EMS Department became the third Rhode Island community to be awarded and recognized as a HeartSafe community at Monday nightâ€™s town council meeting by the American Heart Association.
â€śFifty percent of men and women in Western Civilization with significant heart disease show the first sign with a sudden collapse,â€ť David Hilts of the American Heart Association said. â€śIt is the number one killer in adults in North America. Survival is very dependent on early shock defibrillators and CPR, things that will help someone survive a sudden cardiac arrest.â€ť
The HeartSafe program is designed to help communities give people a better chance of surviving a heart attack or other cardiac emergency. HeartSafe communities must meet a number of criteria including offering CPR classes, placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the community and on emergency response vehicles, training first responders, creating effective emergency response plans for municipal and school buildings, and evaluating the communityâ€™s response to cardiac emergencies. The HeartSafe Community program is a collaboration between the state department of health and the American Heart Association.
Town Manager Stephen A. Alfred commended EMS director, Keith Richards for taking the steps necessary to make the town HeartSafe.
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