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An AED for the Doyle Softball Complex is presented to the Parks Commission on Tuesday.

KEVS Foundation Donates AED to Pittsfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An automated external defibrillator, or AED, will be installed at the Doyle Softball Complex on Benedict Road thanks to a donation from the KEVS Foundation.
The Parks Commission received the lifesaving device last Tuesday after it was offered to the city several months ago. An AED is used to treat cardiac arrest by sending an electric shock to the heart and restoring a normal rhythm.
"Several months ago, the KEVS Foundation reached out to the city and offered the donation of an AED unit.  It was accepted by this body, we also brought it to the Pittsfield City Council, it was accepted there," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath reported to the panel.
"We've had conversations with County Ambulance, who will be our maintainer of the unit. There was a donation of the enclosure box, which we have received and is that the building maintenance department. The location we were hoping to put the box and the AED unit is up at the Doyle Softball Complex."
He said the complex is one of the busiest in Western Massachusetts with many student-athletes, parents, and grandparents, making it a sensible place to put the device.
The city has been working with the Pittsfield Police Department dispatch to calculate how the use of the AED will work.
"The enclosure box, if there's a need for an AED, you call 911 and you give them your location and they will give you a quick code for the box," McGrath said.
"You can get into the box and then this unit will guide you through the fibrillation process and hopefully it will save someone's life."
The foundation has donated more than 300 units across the region and hopes to bring more to Berkshire County. Founder Susan Canning and her wife, Shannon Small, created the nonprofit to educate and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in children and young adults after her son Kevin Major lost his life at 19 due to cardiac arrest.
According to the obituary, he died in 2011 at Congamond Lake in Southwick. Canning said there was unfortunately not an AED available on that day and her son also had an undiagnosed heart condition.
"What we have realized is being able to respond to somebody that goes down in cardiac arrest, whether it is a child whether it is an adult, it is imperative that AEDs are on site because it will save lives," she said.
"We have had the privilege, the knowledge of at least five lives at this point over the 11 years that we've been doing this that we have saved and changed the family's life."
It was noted that the donation is also made in the memory of one of Major's grandmothers, who grew up in the county.
McGrath said when the season is over at the complex, the unit will be taken out of the location and maintained so that it can always be available to potentially save a life.
"It should be totally public access," said Small. "That's our whole goal."
The foundation has also taken its mission to Beacon Hill has been involved in H. 1230 An Act relative to sudden cardiac arrest awareness in student-athletes, S. 1203 An Act relative to sudden cardiac arrest awareness in student-athletes, a passed act requiring automated external defibrillators in schools, and an act to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

In 2015, Action Ambulance donated an AED to the city and it was placed at 100 North Street at the health department.

Tags: AED,   parks commission,   

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West Side Mural Wishes for Greener Future

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The mural was commissioned by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. Director Carolyn Valli says murals bring 'a sense of hope.' The nonprofit is building two units of housing near the artwork.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new mural on the West Side depicts a vision of a green community.
On Friday, the completion of "I Wish … For a Greener Future" by Hope Aguilera was celebrated by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, which commissioned the piece as a part of neighborhood revitalization efforts.
Located on the B&P Auto Body Supply at the corner of Robbins Avenue and Columbus Avenue, it depicts a young boy making a wish on a dandelion with an eco-friendly landscape in the background. Within the mural is a farm, windmills to supply energy, an electric car, and a Bird scooter.
"Whenever you start thinking about doing a mural project or doing anything like this Habitat's perspective is 'What do we want to help the community do because it's something they want?'" CEO Carolyn Valli said.
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