SVHC Works with Communities to Purchase AEDs

BENNINGTON — A collaboration between Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington Cardiology, donors, rescue squads, and local physicians means the Northshire residents will have greater access to lifesaving technology. The collaboration will be placing six automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) around the Northshire. 

Each year, more than 200,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest. Studies show that CPR and quick access to an automated external defibrillator (AED) could cut this death by as much as 80 percent.

AEDs are portable computerized medical devices about the size of a laptop computer. The device analyzes a person’s heart rhythm recognizing when an electric shock that starts the heart pumping correctly again. They are used in conjunction with CPR by people who are properly trained in their use and the signs of a sudden cardiac arrest.

The purchase of the AEDs was made possible by various donations as well as funds raised from the Hearts and Vines events which profit cardiology services. Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) collaborated with donors as well as other members of the Northshire communities to purchase and place six new Zoll Plus AEDs. SVHC worked with the Manchester and Arlington Rescue Squads, the town of Manchester, and Drs. Keith Michl and Michael Welther to identify six non-for-profit locations to place the AEDs. AED locations should be where large groups populate including areas such as sports events and places of interest where high risk people may gather.

The six AEDs will be placed by Feb. 22 in Manchester at the Mark Skinner Library, Southern Vermont Art Center, Thompson Recreation Area; in East Dorset at the Wilson House; and in Arlington at the Federated Church in East Arlington and Arlington High School. Staff and volunteers will be trained for no cost by the Manchester and Arlington rescue squads.

The Zoll Plus AEDs features Real CPR Help, a CPR feedback tool that helps rescuers perform CPR correctly. The device provides feedback about the chest compressions, advising a rescuer to push harder if necessary. The device also features intelligent pediatric capability so it can be used on children up to eight-years old.


PHOTO CAPTION: Jim Knowlton, executive director of Mark Skinner Library (right) is pictured with Inge Luce-Smith, from SVMC (left) and Joe Miles, owner of r.k. Miles (center). The Mark Skinner Library is one of six the locations for the AEDs. r.k. Miles donated funds towards this initiative.


Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is Vermont’s first Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence. SVMC is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, an integrated health system providing care for patients in Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont, Rensselaer and Washington Counties in New York, and Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes the VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley Campuses. To learn more about SVHC, visit www.