This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced grants to empower local municipalities to purchase Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for public safety and first responder vehicles. $527K of state and federal funding will equip 246 vehicles serving approximately 70% of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns. This grant opportunity was made possible by state legislation authorized by Chapter 24 of the Massachusetts Acts of 2021, An Act Making Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2022.
“Our administration remains committed to making sure local public safety officials have the tools they need to save lives,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Providing first responders with immediate access to an AED will improve cardiac patient care and improve emergency response. We thank our partners in the Legislature for their support of this program.”
“Emergency responders bring their training and expertise to scenes where every second counts,”Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said. “t Our administration continues to focus on equipping local public safety departments with training, safety equipment, programming, and operational support. Complimenting the experience of first responders, AEDs create an opportunity to positively change a too often fatal outcome.”
The Revere Fire Department is among recipients, having been awarded $1,712.12 to purchase AEDs.
An AED is a medical device used to support people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, which is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have been diagnosed with heart disease. An AED analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, delivers an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. A study from the American Heart Association found that 350,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital every year in the U.S.
“Because of actions we took in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to invest in more AEDs for first responders, the people of the Commonwealth now have more widespread access to life-saving emergency care, saving precious minutes when time is of the essence,” State Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael J. Rodrigues (D- First Bristol and Plymouth) said. “Thank you to Senator Fattman, Senator O’Connor and my Senate colleagues for their steadfast advocacy and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for their support of this grant program to help municipalities secure life-saving AEDs for their public safety and first responder vehicles.”
“It is critical that all of our first responder have access to AEDs,” State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Plymouth and Norfolk) said. “Cardiac events can happen to anyone at any time, and through the advocacy of a number of constituents who know the importance of these devices all too well, more residents will receive the help they need.”
“In districts like mine, the first to respond to emergencies are the police which is why this legislation is critically important,” State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Worcester and Norfolk) said. “By placing an AED in police vehicles, we are providing a stronger life-saving opportunity on the front lines. I am extremely thankful and proud of our efforts and those of Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues and Senator O’Connor for supporting this legislation and to the Greenwood and Ellsessar families for turning personal tragedy into a force for good.”
OGR received significant interest from municipalities for this grant opportunity. As part of its competitive process, OGR recommended funding for all 246 applicants. Although the total funding requested exceeded the allocated state funds, Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy authorized the use of federal Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program funds to meet the $27K difference and deliver AEDs to all grant applicants. support all requests. Of the 246 awards, 12 applicants received federal JAG funding.