Niskayuna looks to acquire defibrillators for town parks

Niskayuna Town Hall
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NISKAYUNA — In the wake of the frightening incident that saw Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapse on the field in the middle of the January game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a spotlight was shone on the medical personnel and practices that saved the player’s life after he suffered cardiac arrest.

Hamlin was administered CPR by on-site medics and was resuscitated with the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
With fields packed throughout the spring and summer with youth sports groups, Niskayuna is now exploring the acquisition of AED units for all town parks in case of medical emergencies.

During the town board’s agenda meeting on Thursday night, Lori Peretti of the Niskayuna Community Programs Department told the board that the town is applying for a grant from the Niskayuna Community Foundation in hopes of acquiring four AEDs, one for each town park.

With the grant application due on April 15, the town hopes to secure the funding and purchase the defibrillators in time for the summer sports season.

“They do yearly grants with a cap of $10,000,” Peretti said of the Niskayuna Community Foundation. “That’s our hope to be able to get that.”

In the aftermath of the Hamlin incident, a local parent and community youth sports groups reached out to Niskayuna Town Board Member Jason Moskowitz inquiring about the potential of outfitting town parks with AEDs.

“We’re in the process of applying for grant funding and we’re hoping to have them installed as soon as possible, I would hope before the start of the sports seasons,” Moskowitz said following Thursday’s meeting.

Town Supervisor Jaime Puccioni said that acquiring the defibrillators would be critical for ensuring safety in the town’s public parks.
“After we saw what happened in the Buffalo Bills’ game this year, we want to make sure that our parks and facilities have AEDs for our players and for anybody who’s using those facilities,” she said following Thursday’s meeting.

Moskowitz said that a variety of age ranges could be treated with an AED in case of a medical emergency.

“It’s one machine and there’s different types of electrodes that go on the machine,” he explained. “There’s pediatric electrodes and adult pads, both of which should be in the machine when we get them. We’re hoping to get one for each park where sports clubs are active.”

Peretti said the AEDs could play a key role in keeping youth athletes safe in the town’s public parks.

“We have a couple of groups that have license agreements in our local parks for football, lacrosse and baseball,” she said. “They reached out to Councilperson Moskowitz and given what happened in the NFL, we truly support it. I think it’s a great idea.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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