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News Release    

February 27, 2008      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(8450 486-2000

County Executive Steinhaus Awards First HEART Safe Community Designations

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Williams R. Steinhaus presented the County’s first HEART Safe Community designations to sixteen local municipal and community organizations today at Starr Library in Rhinebeck. 

“Last September, Dutchess County became the first county in the nation to champion this life  saving initiative,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “Today we are proud to honor the first sixteen organizations within our community who accepted the challenge and took the steps to help increase the chances of survival of someone suffering sudden cardiac arrest.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Dutchess County with more than 140 residents in Dutchess County who die each year due to sudden cardiac arrest.   In the event of cardiac arrest; the sooner CPR and defibrillation are provided, the better the chances of survival.  

The goal of the HEART Safe Community program is to improve the chances for anyone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest to have the best possible odds for survival.  Dutchess County’s program recognizes and honors the efforts of organizations who have met specific criteria in an effort to potentially save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and increased public access to defibrillation devices.

Educational institutions, work places, community based organizations (CBO or Faith Based), or local jurisdictions are all eligible for the HEART Safe Community designation.   Organizations must meet the following criteria for eligibility:

• Personnel (faculty, students or others) who are trained in CPR
• Automated External Defibrillator (AED) readily available on site that is regularly monitored and strategically placed with proper signage. 
• Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Notice of Intent
• Orientation of enhanced 911 included in the program training (Access to 911)
• Have an Emergency Response Plan.

Dutchess County’s HEART Safe Community program has three designation levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze.   The levels signify what percentage of personnel, faculty or students have been trained in CPR.   

• Gold Level – 75% of personnel trained in CPR.
• Silver Level – 50% of personnel trained in CPR.
• Bronze Level – 25% of personnel trained in CPR.

“We are thrilled so many of the organizations being honored today have aspired to the GOLD level designation with more than 75% of their personnel trained in CPR,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  The following organizations were presented with HEART Safe Community designations:

Organization:                                                                    Designation Level:
ALAMO EMS                                                                                 Silver
American Heart Association Poughkeepsie                                       Gold
Dutchess County ARC - Administration Building                                Gold
Dutchess County ARC - Catherine Seeberger Center                         Gold
Dutchess County ARC - LaGrange Vocational Center                        Gold
Church of the Good Shepherd - Father Brogan Parish Center             Gold
Mike Arteaga’s Health and Fitness Center – Poughkeepsie Center     Gold
Rhinebeck Reformed Church                                                           Gold
Rhinebeck Town Hall                                                                      Gold
Rhinebeck Village Hall                                                                    Gold
Starr Library                                                                                   Gold
The Randolph School                                                                      Gold
Town of Rhinebeck - Highway Department                                        Gold
Village of Rhinebeck - Highway Department                                      Gold
Village of Rhinebeck - Waste Water Department                               Gold
Village of Rhinebeck - Water Department                                          Gold

The Dutchess County Department of Health and the Dutchess County HEART Safe Committee is available to work with organizations and communities to provide technical assistance and guidance to help them meet the application criteria.

“We hope our community members continue to improve the access to early defibrillation by making sure automated external defibrillators (AED) are available throughout the community,” said Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH, Commissioner of Health. “We also want to have more and more of our residents be trained in CPR so we can increase the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest for everyone in Dutchess County.” 

Organizations, businesses, municipalities and others who would like to be considered as a HEART Safe Community can log onto for additional information and to obtain an application.


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