Athletes and spectators at the Lt. Steele Field House will now have access to an automatic defibrillator in the case of an emergency, thanks to a local firefighter union. Duxbury Firefighter’s Local 2167 presented Superintendent Dr. Benedict Tantillo with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) Friday morning at the field house in the hopes of giving back to a community that has been very supportive.

The schools currently have a couple of AEDs, but they will be lost once the schools are demolished. The union decided to donate the defibrillator to the school to show its appreciation for the fundraising support the community hasgiven them. The defibrillator sits in a case in the lobby of the fieldhouse and can be opened during an emergency. Once opened, an alarm sounds, notifying bystanders that something is wrong. Any person who is CPR certified is also trained in AED, so they can use the device. “If someone is in cardiac arrest, all you have to do is press the button and follow the directions,” said paramedic Harry Matthews. “The machine will talk to you and tell you what to do.” Matthews said the procedure for a cardiac emergency is to recognize there is a problem, call 911, conduct CPR, use the defibrillator and then move on to advanced life support.

“When you open the AED case and the alarm sounds, it does not call the fire department,” said firefighter EMT Chuck Nudd. “Someone has to dial 911 and let us know there is an emergency. Nudd said the location of the device is key, because when the schools are demolished more athletic fields will be constructed and the likelihood of a cardiac incident increases.