I had the recent pleasure of accepting an award on behalf of the Town of Rhinebeck Highway Department for being a gold level “Heart Safe Community.”
I am pleased to report 100 percent of the highway department crew has been trained in emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the operation of automatic external defibrillators and we have two defibrillators available for use. Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus presented the award not only to the town highway department but to several other departments of the town and village as well.
The real “hero” deserving an award is the Heart Safe Club of Rhinebeck. The club has been tireless in its efforts to educate our community about the importance of being prepared for instances of sudden cardiac arrest.
According to the American Heart Association, less than 5 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive because witnesses do not know CPR or the proper steps to take in an emergency.
The Heart Safe Club of Rhinebeck was formed in 2006 after the sudden cardiac arrest and death of 17-year-old Maggie O’Malley. The club has taken on the challenge of training our community in her memory to help avoid such tragedies.
Training is easy and even fun. I urge those reading this to contact the Heart Safe Club for training. The club can be reached at Heartsafeclub@frontiernet.net or call 845-876-5976.
Visit www.maggieomalley.org/heartsafe.htm for more information.
Town of Rhinebeck