Certification will occur on Feb. 14th at 1:30 at the Town Hall Ballroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Connecticut Department of Public Health

February 9, 2010                                    Contact: William Gerrish

                                                               (860) 509-7270



HARTFORD – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in collaboration with the American Heart Association, announces that Windham has been designated a HEARTSafe Community.


“The HEARTSafe Communities program is designed to promote and recognize the efforts of local municipalities to provide improved cardiac response and care to its residents,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin.  “Windham has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival for heart attack victims.”


DPH began the HEARTSafe Communities program to foster community environments that improve the survival odds for people suffering sudden cardiac events, such as cardiac arrests or heart attacks.  The key to the program has been dubbed by the American Heart Association as the Chain of Survival.  The Chain of Survival has four vital links:  early access to emergency care; early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); early defibrillation and early advanced care. 


A HEARTSafe Community promotes and supports: CPR training in the community; public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use by public safety professionals and other trained community members; and early advanced care.


Windham met the program requirements for public placement of AEDs, trained community residents, and equipped, staffed and trained emergency responders.  In addition, Windham is planning on continuing to provide community CPR training programs and expand the availability of AEDs in public locations.


“The Town started seeking certification after being approached by local Fire Chiefs asking why Windham was not certified,” stated Dawn Niles, Chairman of the HEARTSafe Committee.  “For the past year, a group of dedicated individuals reviewed where AEDs were located in town.  As a result, the committee recently purchased three AEDs and provided in-service training at the Town Hall for staff.”


Municipalities wishing to obtain designation as a HEARTSafe Community can download an application from the State Department of Public Health website at: www.ct.gov/dph/hdspp or contact Gary St. Amand, Health Program Associate, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at gary.stamand@ct.gov or 860-509-7581.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.  To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.