FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Connecticut Department of Public Health

May 16, 2011                                                 Contact: William Gerrish

           (860) 509-7270


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


 “The HEARTSafe Communities program is designed to increase the awareness of the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac events by ordinary community residents,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “The Town of Lyme 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.


“The HEARTSafe designation would not have been possible without, among others, those people who gave up a Saturday morning to take a CPR class. In the past two years, nearly 50 Lyme residents have been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of a sudden cardiac event, call 9-1-1, and perform CPR. These are ordinary citizens who might be called on to act in an extraordinary manner,” said Ralph Eno, First Selectman. “We are especially pleased that this designation happens to coincide with National EMS Week — an opportunity to honor all of our emergency service volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day for the people of Lyme.”


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.


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


Municipalities wishing to obtain designation as a HEARTSafe Community can download an application from the state Department of Public Health website at: or contact Gary St. Amand, Health Program Associate, of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program at 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 or call (860) 509-7270.