Foundation executive director Mary Blazine said she was ordering the pocketbook-sized piece of equipment with funding help from a group of Coral Bay residents. "Apparently someone had a heart attack and the EMS just barely got there in time," she said, and this inspired a New Year's Eve party fund raiser that netted $4,250 for the cause.
Additional individual donations were solicited. Blazine said part of the money is going to purchase the defibrillator and the rest will be earmarked for maintenance of the equipment, defibrillator pads and other supplies.
Emergency Medical Services supervisor David Trahan said the device, which is used to revive heart attack victims, can be used by anyone trained in basic life support techniques. "The machine actually talks to the person," he said.
St. John's deputy fire chief, Brian Chapman, said a small supply of emergency medical equipment is kept at the island's two fire stations. More is stored in Coral Bay than Cruz Bay, as the town has ready access to the EMS station at the Morris F. deCastro Clinic, he said.
Trahan expressed the hope that adding the defibrillator to the Coral Bay inventory will help make quick assistance possible for those who might not otherwise receive emergency care in time because of being 8 to 12 miles away from the nearest medical facilities.