Barrington is now a “heart safe" community.
Fire Chief Gerald Bessette led a contingent of firefighters from Barrington and East Providence that made the announcement at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday night, Sept. 3.
Barrington is the sixth community in Rhode Island to be given the designation.
The “heart safe” designation means that Barrington residents who suffer heart attacks can now expect to see their chance of survival doubled or even tripled because of the number of people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the number of automated external defibrillators (AED) in town.
The "heart safe" program is a collaboration of the American Heart Association and the RI Department of Health. It is "based on the principle that lives can be saved by being prepared with prevention, early access to care, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care," according to information distributed at the council meeting by the fire chief.
Many pieces of the criteria were already in place when Barrington sought the designation, according to Bessette. Other criteria were obtained over the past several months.
- AED units placed in public buildings, schools and police vehicles.
- Personnel in public buildings and schools trained in CPR and AED use.
- Firefighters trained in advanced cardiac life support.
- Police officers trained in CPR and AED use.
- CPR and AED training offered to as many residents as possible.
- Businesses encouraged to train personnel in CPR and AED use and to obtain an AED in the facility.
Among the public buildings in Barrington with AEDs are:
- Town Hall
- Public Library
- Senior Center
- Public Works
- Public Safety (Police and Fire)
- Town Beach
- Fire Department apparatus
- School Administration
Private buildings with AEDs are Barrington Urgent Care, Temple Habonim, and the Bayside YMCA.