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News Release    

February 18, 2009      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

New Dutchess County HEART Safe Communities Recognized at Chamber Event

Poughkeepsie… On behalf of Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus, Commissioner of Health Michael C. Caldwell, MD, MPH presented Dutchess County’s HEART Safe Community designations to eleven local municipal and community organizations today at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. 

“By becoming HEART Safe Communities, these organizations have demonstrated how much they care about the customers, their employees and their residents,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “We encourage every business, school district, community organization, municipality to take the steps to become HEART Safe.   Making sure employees are trained in CPR and having Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) available can make a life saving difference in the event of 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.

The following organizations were presented with HEART Safe Community designations:

County Players, Inc.

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

New Hackensack Reformed Church

New Horizons Resources, Inc. Training and Administrative Headquarters

Gold’s Gym Fishkill (Southern Dutchess Fitness)

Gold’s Gym Lagrange (The Net of the HV LLC.)

Town of Hyde Park Town Hall

Town of Hyde Park Recreation Department

Dutchess County Department of Health - Poughkeepsie District Office

Dutchess County Department of Health - EIP/Preschool Program

Dutchess County Department of Public Works – Aviation

The Dutchess County Department of Health, in partnership with the American Heart Association, has a HEART Safe Committee is available to work with organizations and communities to provide technical assistance and guidance to help them meet the application criteria.

“It is an easy process to become a HEART Safe Community,” said Dr. Caldwell.  “Our team can guide your organization through the process quickly.   A few simple steps could mean a life is saved.” 

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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