HCN News & Notes

State to Fund AEDs for Municipalities, Colleges and Universities, Nonprofits

BRAINTREE — The Healey-Driscoll administration announced that more than $165,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 80 Massachusetts municipalities, public colleges and universities, and nonprofits to purchase automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) for emergency-response vehicles. This program will help increase access to this lifesaving equipment during medical emergencies, when every second matters.

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.

“Immediate access to AEDs is vital to someone facing a medical crisis. By expanding availability statewide, we’re equipping first responders with the necessary tools to provide lifesaving emergency care for patients,” Gov. Maura Healey said. “This essential equipment will enhance the medical response for cardiac patients across Massachusetts and improve outcomes during an emergency event.”

The funds were awarded through a competitive application process conducted by the Office of Grants and Research, a state agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. The FY 2024 AED grant program was open to all Massachusetts — with priority given to those with populations of 20,000 or less — as well as public colleges, universities, and nonprofits with emergency-response vehicles.

Eligible applicants were invited to apply for funding of up to $2,500 to purchase one AED for an emergency-response vehicle that is either not currently equipped with an AED or requires a replacement device. A total of $165,084.70 will be distributed to 58 municipalities, 13 public colleges and universities, and nine nonprofits serving communities across Massachusetts. Click here for a full list of recipients and amounts.

“This state-funded program places lifesaving equipment in the hands of our first responders so they can administer care in emergencies,” Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy said. “We cannot predict when someone will need help, but our first responders must have the essential tools at the ready when it does happen. These grants represent an investment in public safety and the well-being of Massachusetts communities.”