South Fayette may place automated external defibrillators in its parks as early as spring of next year.
The idea was raised by some local sports associations and commissioners due to the increase in the number of recreational events, and thus spectators, in the parks, township manager Ryan Eggleston said.
“Having AEDs readily available is extremely important for survival following cardiac arrest, especially in the adult patient,” said Commissioner Raymond Pitetti, who is a doctor and associate medical director of the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. “With all of the sporting events that occur at the parks, we are seeing more and more spectators, especially older spectators. It’s a way of enhancing safety for our visitors.”
He also noted the need to have AEDs available for use on children. “You may have read or heard about kids who are struck in the chest and then suffer from cardiac arrest. This is likely due to a fatal arrhythmia. Having an AED present may save their lives,” Dr. Pitetti said.
The AEDs can be used on both adults and children and are slated to be placed in at least four locations: Fairview Park, Morgan Park, and the soccer field and multi-purpose field at the Boys Home property.
The township may also install them at Koppers Field and in Treveskyn Park. “Although Treveskyn is not an active park, there are a lot of walkers there,” Mr. Eggleston said.
The township is currently researching cost and models.
“We may have some funding in the capital reserve fund, but we hope to partner with a local hospital or medical facility as well,” Mr. Eggleston said.
The AEDs are easy to use, with voice prompts providing instructions. As for security, the township is investigating the logistics of placement, and models that lock or are equipped with alarms. “Think of it being similar to a fire alarm, where one has to break through the glass,” Mr. Eggleston explained.
If all goes as planned, officials hope to have the AEDs in place by spring or summer of next year.
Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.