Holyoke Receives ‘HeartSafe Community’ Designation

HOLYOKE — The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Mass. Department of Public Health recently named the City of Holyoke a “HeartSafe Community,” a designation that recognizes a city or town’s emergency and medical response to cardiac arrest.

The HeartSafe Community Program encourages communities to strengthen what the AHA calls the “chain of survival,” which has four critical steps: early access to emergency care, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care.

Cities and towns apply to the DPH in order to receive the HeartSafe Community designation. Each town is awarded points, called “heartbeats,” that determine if they qualify as a HeartSafe Community; heartbeats are earned for the number of residents with CPR training and the number of first-responder vehicles that are equipped with AEDs. Residents and visitors will know when they have entered a HeartSafe Community by road signage denoting the HeartSafe status.

Each year, over 250,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest, and more than 95{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. The AHA estimates that if every community in the U.S. could achieve a 20{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} sudden cardiac arrest survival rate, approximately 50,000 American lives could be saved each year.

For more information on becoming a HeartSafe Community, contact the AHA’s Regional ECC Service Center at (888) 277-5463, or the DPH at (617) 753-7302.

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