West New York, N.J. — Mayor Felix E. Roque, M.D. and the Board of Commissioners today announced the roll-out of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Town Hall and in police vehicles, safeguarding the wellbeing of those visiting Town facilities and strengthening the chances of survival when responding to cardiac emergencies in the Town of West New York.

In addition to installing the two potential life saving devices in Town Hall, the West New York Police Department has outfitted every patrol vehicle with portable AEDs, storage cases and supply kits.

“When someone’s heart stops beating, every second counts,” said Felix E. Roque, M.D., Mayor of the Town of West New York, who is also a medical doctor. “It is my hope that no family has to go through the heartbreak of losing a loved one to cardiac arrest.”

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year throughout the United States. AEDs save thousands of lives each year. The closer an AED is in an emergency, the better the chances for someone to survive cardiac arrest. Each minute defibrillation is delayed, the victim’s chances of survival decreases by 10%.

The rollout of AEDs in Town Hall and in West New York Police Department vehicles is part of Mayor Felix E. Roque, M.D., and the Board of Commissioners comprehensive Emergency Action Strategy to enhance better wellbeing for the residents of West New York. The implementation plan includes a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and AED training and certification program in which Town Hall employees received training and certification in adult CPR, child CPR and AED usage. Preparation included training staff to recognize a cardiac emergency, perform CPR and use the device to administer a shock to the heart.

Starting CPR early, rapid use of 9-1-1 and using a defibrillator greatly increases the chances of survival during a cardiac emergency.

“Since cardiac arrest can strike anywhere, anytime, our best defenses is to make sure the community is supplied with life-saving technology and a workforce trained in its use,” said Mayor Roque, who is also Commissioner of Public Safety. “Our priority is ensuring our residents are healthy and safe, especially when conducting business in Town Hall.”

Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt and unexpected loss of heart function – usually resulting from an electrical problem within the heart. When this happens, the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs resulting in collapse and loss of consciousness, most often leading to death if not treated within minutes. Defibrillation, which delivers an electric shock to the heart, is the only known treatment to stop a cardiac arrest.

AEDs are safe and easy to use, making it possible for non-medical personnel to be trained to provide rapid defibrillation for victims of all ages. AEDs include step-by-step instructions and voice prompts, and are meant to be used by untrained bystanders. Anyone who witnesses a person collapse can operate an AED, as long as it’s confirmed that the unconscious person’s breathing and pulse are absent or irregular. Anyone who witnesses a person collapse can operate an AED. The device will instruct users to expose the person’s chest and attach sticky pads with electric sensors to it. The machine uses these sensors to analyze heart rhythm, and, if needed, will let users know to press a button to deliver an electric shock.

“They’re user-friendly and easily taken off the wall or from their location, and they definitely save lives when used in time,” Mayor Roque continued. “But it’s very important that they are accessible, and visible so everyone knows exactly where you can find them in an emergency.”