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Local Businessman Donates Defibrillators for Athletes

Gary Reis

Gary Reis, EMT and owner of an ambulance service in the Pawtucket, Rhode Island area, knows what a difference having defibrillators on hand at athletic events can make. So when he heard that the Pawtucket Parks Commission wanted to put a defibrillator in each of the playing fields and athletic complexes in the city, Gary Reis stepped up and offered to donate the life-saving devices.
According to a paper published in Sports Health, about 75 percent of sudden deaths occurring in young athletes are caused by cardiac arrest. The paper also found that having an automated external defibrillator (AED) increased the chances of survival when used with CPR immediately after an athlete collapses.
Having such a device on hand might have made a big difference for the 14-year-old baseball player in Lincoln, Rhode Island, who inspired the Parks Commission request. The boy died after collapsing on the baseball field. By providing AEDs, the Parks Commission hopes to prevent such tragedies in the future.  
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