Home Roanoke: City enhances public safety with five more Automated External Defibrillators at parks
Health, State/National

Roanoke: City enhances public safety with five more Automated External Defibrillators at parks

Rebecca Barnabi
AED CPR first aid
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Roanoke Parks will celebrate a ribbon cutting on Thursday, February 1, 2024, of the installation of five new Automated External Defibrillators (AED) throughout Roanoke’s outdoor public areas.

Roanoke’s outdoor defibrillator initiative represents a significant milestone in enhancing public safety and providing critical emergency support to community members and visitors during a cardiac emergency.

The new AEDs are strategically positioned in Wasena Park, Smith Park, Rivers Edge North (Maher Field), Elmwood Park and at the famous Mill Mountain Star. In conjunction with three previously installed units at Thrasher Park, Washington Park and Towers Shopping Center, the AEDS serve as a crucial resource for sudden cardiac arrest.

“I am proud that the hearts of Roanoke’s citizens and visitors are better protected today thanks to the installation of five new 24/7 accessible AEDs in our most visited outdoor parks. This is just one more example of how Roanoke is leading the charge in Southwest Virginia in cardiac health and care,” Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb said.

Cobb will celebrate the ribbon cutting with community members on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Mill Mountain Star.

The AED installation project was made possible through a Housing and Urban Development grant in partnership with the City of Roanoke and in collaboration with the Compress and Shock Foundation, whose efforts helped to make this endeavor a reality.

An AED is a life-saving device designed to deliver a controlled electrical shock to individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, potentially restoring normal heart rhythm and significantly increasing the chances of survival before professional medical help arrives. AEDs are designed to be safe and easy to use; offering verbal instructions to the rescuers and only shocking if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected.

The AEDs are housed in all-weather, secure cabinets which keep the devices safe and ready to deploy at all times. When a suspected cardiac arrest is reported to the local 911 center, the telecommunicator will check for nearby public access AED units and provide the caller with instructions to access the emergency equipment while simultaneously dispatching first responders to the location.

“We are thrilled to partner with Roanoke City and AED Team in the successful installation of these AED enclosures that will benefit all citizens of Roanoke,” Founder and Executive Director of the Compress and Shock Foundation Dr. Jack Perkins said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.