The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a Safety Equipment Grant to the Lanesborough (MA) Police Department in the form of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The AEDs will be carried in the Department's patrol cars in the event an officer experiences a cardiac event, and will be available for use with local residents as well. The grant, valued at $3,953, provides two Philips HeartStart AEDs along with waterproof cases and extra sets of adult pads to extend the use of the units.
"It is with great appreciation that our agency, and the people of Lanesborough, accept these AEDs from the Spirit of Blue Foundation," commented Chief Tim Sorrell of the Lanesborough Police Department. "These devices will most likely help save a life one day, and we'll have the first responders, being Police and Fire as well as the Spirit of Blue Foundation, to thank for that."
Funding for the grant was provided by a generous gift from The Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation (DDBRCF), a nonprofit organization of volunteer Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees and Dunkin' Brands employees that ensure the basic needs of the community are being met in areas of hunger relief, children's health, and safety. In total the DDBRCF has enabled Spirit of Blue to make 17 Safety Equipment Grants throughout New England with a total value of more than $100,000.
"Officers endure a lot of stress on the job in every activity, from simply driving on patrol, getting in a spontaneous foot pursuit, or while engaged in a range of training scenarios," said Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue. "Should an officer experience a cardiac event in any one of those situations these AEDs will be on hand and have proven to be very effective and simple to use."
Statistics released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that 124 law enforcement officers lost their lives in 2015, an increase of 4% from the prior year. 42 of those losses were firearm-related fatalities, while 35 officers died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. The reality of these statistics, and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country, fuel the Spirit of Blue safety grant initiative.
The Spirit of Blue Foundation actively encourages the public at large to honor and appreciate law enforcement officers who serve to protect our communities. By supporting the Spirit of Blue Foundation, the public can make an impact in the lives of law enforcement officers every day. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue, or make a donation, visit www.spiritofblue.com.
The Spirit of Blue Foundation, based out of Chicago, IL, is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs. The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers. Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to federal levels. Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 39 grants valued at over $200,000.