Salem, OR (Dec. 17, 2015) Marking only eight months since achieving its not-for-profit charitable status, the Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) is making a positive impact throughout the broader Salem community. The organization already accomplished its first goal of raising sufficient funds through many generous donations to purchase 64 Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for City of Salem police vehicles. An additional 50 AEDs for public access will become available to the community through a grant process beginning in January.
“Immediate access to an AED can significantly improve the chances of survival for someone who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest,” says Salem Fire Chief and SFF board member, Mike Niblock. “Having AEDs in our police cars and available for public access in our community will provide critical intervention for people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest until emergency medical care arrives.”
Sudden Cardiac Arrest kills more than 383,000 Americans each year. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops abruptly, without warning. For every minute that elapses, the chance of survival diminishes by 10 percent. Salem currently has a save rate of 41 percentthe SFF wants to see that number climb above 65 percent.
“We are extremely proud to partner with our fire department in an effort to help save lives in our community,” says Salem Police Chief Gerald Moore. “The AEDs provided by the Salem Fire Department and the Salem Fire Foundation are a tremendous gift to this community, and will truly make a difference in our ability to help people in a medical crisis.”
After installation in Salem police vehicles, the SFF will work to determine how best to strategically place 50 public access AEDs in the community.
Salem Fire Chief Niblock added, “Starting in January businesses and organizations will be able to purchase or apply for a grant to receive one of our first 50 AEDs.”
Purchased AEDs includes a partial tax deductible donation to the foundation, qualifying organizations may receive a full or partial grant to receive an AED and cabinet. Training and maintenance will be required. For more information on the grant process and how to apply for an AED, please visit our website in January at salemfirefoundation.org.
Training the Next Generation: The SFF is now moving into Phase 2 of their program: to ensure every eight-grade student in the Salem-Keizer School district is trained in hands-only CPR. With the help of Salem Firefighter Paramedics as instructors, the foundation has already trained over 700 Salem-Keizer area students in hands only CPR and AED skills.
CPR/AED training is available to all of the community on the first and third Saturdays of the month at 2740 25th St SE. To reserve your spot, call 503-588-6245. Cost for training is $15.00. The new hands-only approach is quickly learned and effective.
About the Salem Fire Foundation The Salem Fire Foundation (SFF) is a private, not-for-profit 501(c) 3 dedicated to assisting the Salem Fire Department achieve its core mission of saving lives through the funding of the following programs: Community Outreach and Engagement in CPR and AED Training, Employee Recognition and Development, Fire Prevention and Risk Awareness, Service Enhancements, Assistance for Injured Firefighters and their Families, and Special Projects. For more information, or to make a donation to Salem Fire Foundation, please visit our website at salemfirefoundation.org or call 503-371-7457.