New AED installation to boost safety at Boston community center

In a move to enhance community safety, the American Heart Association has teamed with Madison Park Development Corporation to install an automatic external defibrillator (AED) at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury.

The installation marks a significant step in improving emergency response capabilities in the neighborhood.

The initiative, made possible through a generous donation from local philanthropists Tom and Dorene McCourt, goes beyond simply providing equipment. It includes comprehensive training for MPDC staff and community members in hands-only CPR and AED use.

A Madison Park Development Corporation employee installs the AED at Hibernian Hall on May 21.

Karen Whitefield, executive of the American Heart Association in Boston, emphasized the importance of this effort.

“This is a crucial step in empowering people to act swiftly in the event of a cardiac emergency,” she said. “Together, we are creating a safer, more prepared Boston.”

The need for such resources is clear. More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, with only a 10% survival rate due to lack of immediate intervention. Prompt CPR and AED use can potentially double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

American Heart Association Community Impact Director Stephanie Voltaire (second from left) and the team at Madison Park Development Corporation pose in front of the new AED.

The McCourts’ donation has enabled the American Heart Association to provide MPDC with a range of resources, including CPR and first aid training kits, a cardiac emergency response plan, and funding for staff certification in first aid, CPR and AED use.

This initiative represents a significant investment in community health and safety, potentially saving lives in critical moments when every second counts, said Leslie Stafford, health equity and wellness manager at Madison Park Development Corporation.

Tom McCourt (second from left) and Dorene McCourt (fourth from left) visited Hibernian Hall on Friday, July 12, to see the AED their donation to the American Heart Association funded and to meet with AHA and Madison Park Development Corporation staff.

“In our underserved communities, we have a lot of chronic illnesses,” Stafford told CBS Boston in a news segment about the new AED. “We have high risk of heart attacks. We have high risk of diabetes, obesity, hypertension.”

Watch the CBS Boston report below.