Dec. 19, 2023
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Every minute matters when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, and having access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can make all the difference for survival. Through a generous donation made by First Quality Enterprises, LLC to UPMC and Susquehanna Health Foundation, 100 AEDs will soon be accessible in public spaces in communities across Clinton and Lycoming Counties.
According to the American Heart Association, when a cardiac arrest occurs in a public space, 90% of victims who receive a shock from an AED within the first minute, survive. Unfortunately, the organization’s data also shows that last year alone, 90% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests were fatal, and 40% were witnessed by a layperson who may not have had a life-saving AED available. As part of the UPMC Minutes Matter initiative, Susquehanna Health Foundation aims to make a direct impact on survival rates in north central Pennsylvania by increasing community access to AEDs.
“The statistics on cardiac arrest are alarming, and we know that bystander intervention can help support the emergency response, especially in the rural communities of this region,” said Tony Bixby, director, Prehospital Services, UPMC in North Central Pa., and chief, Susquehanna Regional EMS. “Deploying these lifesaving AEDs and educating our community on how to perform CPR and use the AEDs empowers bystanders, leading to lives being saved. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this initiative and am so thankful for First Quality’s support.”
The First Quality Group of companies has two campuses in Clinton County, located in McElhattan and Lock Haven, that manufacture personal care and household paper products. The operations leaders at these two sites, Bill Garbrick and Shane Scanlan, shared this joint statement on the AED donation: “There is nothing more important than the health and safety of the people in our communities. We are proud to partner with Susquehanna Health Foundation and UPMC to make AEDs more readily accessible in our region, and to support our first responders who work tirelessly to serve our communities.”
Leadership from UPMC and Susquehanna Regional EMS are working closely with representatives from organizations and public spaces in Clinton and Lycoming Counties to ensure the AEDs are strategically placed to serve the highest number of individuals possible while also being readily accessible during an emergency. Additionally, when AEDs are distributed, emergency personnel staff will provide education and training of the basic knowledge required to use and maintain an AED.
“One life saved – that’s all it takes to make this a priceless investment,” said Sherry Watts, president, Susquehanna Health Foundation. “This generosity is immense and it’s a testament of First Quality’s commitment to the communities they are a part of here in the region. Their support is helping us advance lifesaving and life-changing care locally, and it’s a partnership engaged in work that we take pride in and value tremendously.”
From left: Mark Trueman, deputy chief, Susquehanna Regional EMS, and manager, Prehospital Services, UPMC in North Central Pa.; Kristen Lorson, major & planned gifts officer, Susquehanna Health Foundation; Shane Scanlan and Bill Garbrick, operations leaders, First Quality Group Lock Haven and McElhattan; Patti Jackson-Gehris, president, UPMC in North Central Pa.; and Tony Bixby, chief, Susquehanna Regional EMS, and director, Prehospital Services, UPMC in North Central Pa.