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Salem Fire Foundation receives $85,000 for AED’s

Mary Louise VanNatta, Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock, Ray Sagner, Alex Rhoten, Josh Franke, Monica Pacheco, Willy Giddings, Gabriel Benmoussa

Members of the Salem Fire Foundation (SFF), the Salem Fire Department, Salem Health Foundation and High Street Hustle Heart Fund gathered at Gallagher Fitness to accept a donation of $85,000 to purchase AED’s (automatic external defibrillators).

Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock added how appreciative the Foundation and Department are for this donation. “It will be used to place AED’s in the community, which will triple the chances of survival in case of a cardiac arrest when an AED is nearby,” he said. “We are going to saturate our community with AED’s and continue our mission of training 8th-grade students. We’ve trained over 13,000 so far — our ultimate goal is to have the highest cardiac save rate in the nation.”

“This nearly completes one of the Foundation’s primary goals,” said Mary Louise VanNatta, executive director of the SFF. “When the Foundation began, we knew Salem was lacking sufficient AED’s. We also needed to register the ones that already existed, so they could be easily accessed by citizens through the PulsePoint app. This donation will allow us to add 106 AED’s in strategic places in the community and cover 90% of the city.”

Alex Casebeer, from the Salem Health Foundation, said, “This project is a true marriage of community-minded people who have a heart for health and wellness in Salem. This matches up perfectly with the Hospital Foundation’s Mission.”

John and Susan Gallagher of Gallagher Fitness Resources were instrumental in this project by raising funds through the High Street Hustle event. John Gallagher said, “In four years, we raised $96,000 for the Salem Health Foundation.” The community run will be held again on August 10, 2019.

With this donation, Salem will have approximately 186 AED’s including one in each city police and public works vehicles.

VanNatta adds, “There is still much work to be done. The AED’s must be maintained, and more people need to be trained to use them. The Foundation will continue to encourage people to receive training through the Salem Fire Department and to download the PulsePoint app, so they can be alerted if a sudden cardiac arrest occurs near them.”

You can contact the Salem Fire Foundation at or by calling (503) 371-7457.