Town Has Change of Heart On Defibrillators

Town Board expected to approve acceptance of AED donation from Kings Park Youth.

The Town of Smithtown Town Board is expected to approve the acceptance of an Automated External Defibrillator from Kings Park Youth at

, citing liability issues, but it appears to have had a change of heart.

John McQuaid, a board member for KPY, said it appears that the town board is working hard to make the availability of an AED device at Memorial Park a reality.

“From my conversation with them, they still had a lot to work out. (Town Supervisor) Vecchio called and said they think they can solve the issue and he is going to make a motion to accept our request for AEDs for that park."

Town Councilman Ed Wehrheim said he believes the issue was a misunderstanding.

“We wanted to have the town attorney look at the liability issues before we did it,” said Wehrheim.

McQuaid, on the behalf of KPY, wrote the town a letter, explaining that the organization would pay for the life saving units at Memorial Park in Kings Park and would be willing to maintain them. The town, responded in a letter, denying the request, but did not offer an explanation, prompting McQuaid to appear at the last town board meeting.

Suggestions were made by both the town attorney and Wehrheim that KPY bring the devices back and forth to games. McQuaid said that the request for the organization, which has 65 teams and more than 1,000 kids, would be difficult.

Vecchio agreed to revisit the issue at the last board meeting.

According to Wehrheim, the parks presented a challenge because they are "outlying areas" and are generally not secure, unlike town hall where there is an AED device and the building is locked and has cameras. Public safety is in control of those devices and will be in control of park AEDs.

"Nobody is saying no, we just have a responsibility to do it properly," said Wehrheim and said town attorney John Zollo is in the final throes of working the policy out.

McQuaid said he would be at tonight's meeting.

"I am excited, it sounds like they have had a change of heart," he said.


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Thunder Buddies May 17, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Sounds like a step in the right direction. Let's hope they move quickly!
Charlie May 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Nice job John McQuaid. Our kids are better off because of your persistence. Thanks.
new guy May 18, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Good job John, I'm just curious how they will be secured. I hope they aren't relying on the part time help to keep them secure. I think coaches are happy if these kids just get the fields lined and the lights turned on. I think KPY might want to see if the town will allow them to "double lock" the attendants rooms with a combo lock. This way if that room is ever locked the KPY staff would be able to access the AED's.
Craig May 18, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Nice work John!
Bill C. Merrell, Ph.D. May 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM
At least they have decided to approve them. As is done in Hauppauge Ball fields, the coaches have special keys and the machines are in secure water proof locked containers on the ball field, which theoretically could be damaged, but the effort to even extract it would cause us to say why lock doors, when people can just break in, or why put up lights when vandals can break bulbs. I say it way time for the AED to be there to save lives!
Tim ENPT May 20, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Nice job John, I'm sure now every other League will want to do the same. It's long overdue!
kp May 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Now they need to put one at the boat dock.
new guy May 20, 2012 at 05:11 PM
here we go....lets put them at every town owned building , parks and beaches. also at the bluff and two at long beach ramps. lets nail a metal box with AED's on every other telephone pole in the town of smithtown.


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