Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Fire Department: Prompt CPR and Use of AED Saves Lives When Seconds Count

The West Hartford Fire Department hosted a free 'hands-only' CPR program on Farmington Avenue. Courtesy photo

The West Hartford Fire Department offers training to businesses and community groups on the use of CPR.

By Ronni Newton

Prompted by the terrifying injury to a professional football player on Monday night, the West Hartford Fire Department issued a message to the community on Tuesday, reiterating the importance of CPR training and the accessibility of AEDs in situations when seconds really count.

During the Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills, millions were watching as 24-year-old Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed moments after a tackle, suffering an apparent cardiac arrest. Within moments, trainers, paramedics, and other emergency responders who were on site rushed to his side and immediately began to initiate CPR and other life-saving measures.

“Damar Hamlin was provided early critical care and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he remains in critical condition,” the West Hartford Fire Department said in a news release. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Hamlin’s family and the Buffalo Bills organization.”

In 2022, West Hartford earned the HEARTSafe Community designation following efforts by the fire department to improve the “cardiac chain of survival” by expanding CPR training and increasing the number of Public Access Defibrillators. While situations like what happened on the football field in Cincinnati on Monday night may be rare, they underscore the importance of providing immediate critical care.

Defibrillators can now be found in every public building in town, and locations can quickly be identified through the PulsePoint AED app, which can be obtained from Apple and Google Play.

The West Hartford Fire Department will continue to offer hands-only CPR training through pop-up events, and businesses or community groups that wish to host a training session are also encouraged to reach out.

“We encourage any businesses that would like join the West Hartford Fire Department in expanding its network of defibrillators in the community to contact us at 860-561-8309,” Community Support Officer Andrew Eccles said. “Early CPR and AED defibrillation can save lives.” He can also be contacted via email at [email protected].

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