The Board of Health recently received grant money from the Center of Disease Control through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the purchase of a portable defibrillator. The defibrillator will be stored in the main hallway of the Town Hall and town employees will be trained on its use.
As a member of a coalition for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHED) the Board of Health was able to utilize the grant money for this purpose. Upton is one of 74 communities in our region who are members of the coalition.
The Board’s mission is to plan for, prepare, and respond to any public health emergency both locally and at a regional. “One of our responses would involve dispensing medications for prevention or treatment of an infectious disease outbreak. In that capacity, we would need an AED that is portable to be brought with us to a site of dispensing,” said Upton Public Health Nurse Trish Parent.
“We offered our AED to be housed in the building with access for the public so that it could be of more use on a day-to-day basis. In the event of a public health emergency, we would transport the AED to the appropriate venue,” said Parent.
According to Parent the PHED have been providing equipment and training to health departments across Massachusetts through this grant process for over ten years. In addition sixty-eight of the seventy-four communities in Region 2 have signed mutual aid agreements and personnel now know how to reach out to each other in the event of an emergency.
Parent said anyone interested in being be a volunteer responder during a Massachusetts health-related emergency or event or anyone who would like to participate in nonemergency community events or education can register to volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps at MAResponds.org.
MA Responds needs volunteers of all skill levels and backgrounds from both medical and non-medical professions. If you are a licensed or certified health care provider, a public health professional, a retiree, or are an individual with an interest in helping the community check out MAReponds.org.