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News Release    

October 21, 2009      

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

Steinhaus Honors Newest Heart Safe Communities

Poughkeepsie… This morning, Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus  recognized seventeen local municipal and community organizations with Dutchess County’s HEART Safe Community designations at the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

“These organizations have demonstrated how much they care about their residents, their students, and their employees by making the choice to become a Heart Safe Community,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “Every business, school district, community organization, municipality in our community can follow their lead and take the simple 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 at this morning’s event:

Spackenkill High School

Town of Pleasant Valley – Town Hall

Dutchess County BOCES:
 Educational Training Academy
 Salt Point Educational Center
 Career and Technical Institute
Manufacturing and Technology Institute

Dutchess County Dept. of Mental Hygiene:
 Mental Health Center
Chemical Dependency Services
Mansion Street Center
Poughkeepsie Continuing Treatment Center
Rhinebeck Continuing Treatment Center
Southern Dutchess Continuing Treatment Center -
Southern Dutchess Continuing Treatment Center - Hedgewood Satellite

Dutchess County Emergency Response Center

Dutchess County Government satellite office locations:
The Beacon Center
27 High Street in Poughkeepsie
Eastern Dutchess Government Center in Millbrook

The Dutchess County Department of Health’s 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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