A machine to help save the lives of people undergoing cardiac arrest could soon be available in Berlin parks.
The Berlin Lions Club has expressed interest in providing $6,000 toward the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for Henry and Stephen Decatur parks. Town staff have asked the club to put the offer in writing while they review updated pricing on the machines.
“We saw you have a need for AED units,” said Rick Holland of the Berlin Lions Club. “That’s right up our alley. We would certainly like to help.”
Holland met with the Berlin Parks Commission last week to talk about the Berlin Lions Club’s desire to assist in the purchase of AEDs. He said historically, the club had worked on supporting eyewear and vision needs among students and community members. He said there had been less of a demand for that lately, however. The club also sold its ballfields property to the county.
“We are for the first time in history flush and we are looking to do some stuff,” Holland said. “We’ve banked the principal but we’re looking to give away the interest.”
Town staff said that in fiscal year 2024, the estimated cost to purchase AEDs for three town parks was $10,000. Holland said the club was prepared to donate $6,000 as long as there was a photo opportunity for the club and the AEDs were accompanied by signage that stated they’d been purchased with the help of the Berlin Lions Club. He said the club supported funding AEDs for Henry Park and Stephen Decatur Park.
He added that while the club wanted to help purchase the AEDs, the club would not be responsible if they were stolen or misused. He added that the club was open to the idea of funding new batteries for the devices once the batteries needed to be replaced.
Patricia Dufendach, a member of the parks commission, praised the club’s interest and said she’d love for the town to share a video regarding how to use the AEDs once they were installed.
“Thank you so much for thinking of the town,” she said.
Holland said the Berlin Lions Club also now sponsored a Boy Scout troop. He said the troop could help with park projects, particularly things like bat boxes, birdhouses or trail maintenance.
“We’re interested in helping you guys out,” he said.
Town staff said they would look for updated pricing on the AEDs. In the meantime, they asked Holland to have the club submit something in writing detailing the donation they were willing to provide to the municipality.
“We’ll revisit it in March once we get an idea what we’re looking at,” said Kate Daub, the town’s special projects administrator.