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Black River to purchase AEDs

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BLACK RIVER — Since the death of former village Department of Public Works Superintendent Karl J. Vebber in May, village officials have discussed the possibility of purchasing automated external defibrillators. After a presentation at the Aug. 5 Board of Trustees meeting by Matthew Carpenter, chief of the Black River Fire Department, the board approved the purchase of two of the devices.

Mr. Vebber, 59, died May 21 of a heart attack after being stricken at his father-in-law’s home.

Mr. Carpenter said that if the village purchases the equipment, village employees would have to be trained in its use. However, he said, the instructor for the four-hour course was willing to work with the village to provide training during working hours for the employees and separate evening or weekend classes if any of the trustees requested training. He said the devices are “public proof.”

“The unit will not shock if the (heart) rhythm is not right,” the fire chief said. He also said that if a person who is trained uses the equipment, he cannot be held liable for injury under the state Good Samaritan Law.

Mr. Carpenter suggested the village have the devices in the recreation building, police car, village DPW truck and village office.

Board members agreed that more than two devices are needed, but they decided to wait until they have funding for additional purchases.

It was suggested the village seek grants for the purchases.

“I don’t want to wait around for the money,” Trustee Randolph E. Lake said.

Chief Carpenter said the device with a battery, adult pads and carrying case costs about $747, with pediatric pads $77 extra. A secure wall cabinet that can be locked would cost about $295.

Treasurer Kathie B. Montigelli said there was money in the budget to make the initial purchase and it was suggested to budget directly for purchases of additional units in next year’s budget.

The board also approved payment of $150 to Atomic Sign Works LLC of Watertown to add Mr. Vebber’s name to three village municipal building signs. At a previous meeting, the board voted to dedicate the building to the fallen public servant. They also plan to purchase a bronze plaque with an image of Mr. Vebber and a simple message.

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