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St. Lawrence Donates AED Units to Local Police Departments

CANTON — St. Lawrence University has donated six automatic external defibrillator (AED) units to local police departments in the villages of Canton and Potsdam and the City of Ogdensburg.

AEDs are portable electronic devices that can be used to help prevent cardiac arrest in emergency situations. While training is recommended on how to use the units, they are designed to by used by the layperson. The machines analyze heart rhythms and will deliver an electric shock if necessary.

St. Lawrence recently added several new AED units across campus and decided to replace all of its existing units in order to have only one type of machine available.

“We had a need to buy an AED that would work with both adults and children using the same pads,” said Patrick Gagnon, director of St. Lawrence University’s Safety and Security. “We also wanted to have one consistent AED on campus, so that no matter who the operator was or where the unit was used, they are all the same unit to eliminate confusion or delays in their use.”

The University, in turn, decided to donate six of the replaced AED units that it replaced to the Canton, Ogdensburg and Potsdam police departments. Each of the departments will receive two AED units, which will be placed in patrol cars. The donated units are about one year old and have a value of approximately $2,000 each.

“Rather than having them set on a shelf or disposing of them,” Gagnon said, “we decided we would help out our community agencies.”

Canton Police Chief Lori A. McDougal said the donated units could make the difference between life and death.

“Often times, our officers are the first responders and are on the scene before any emergency medical services arrive,” she said. “One minute can make all the difference in heart-related situations.”

McDougal said the St. Lawrence donation helps to foster a strong relationship between the campus and the community.

The Canton Police Department will, as a result, donate its older AED units to the Norwood and Norfolk police departments.