Safety Matters: Habitat Choptank trains volunteers to use AEDs

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Habitat Choptank Habitat Choptank volunteers and staff were recently trained to use automated external defibrillators which have been purchased as part of the nonprofit home builder’s construction and ReStore safety program. Here, Jerry Fairbanks, George DeSimone and Kim Cassady, all volunteers on the Tuesday Crew, show the AED provided for their work site.

TRAPPE — Habitat for Humanity Choptank relies on a dedicated volunteer corps to deliver its affordable housing mission. Last year over 680 people of various ages and backgrounds volunteered with the affiliate, many of whom worked on construction sites and at the ReStore. As part of the affiliate’s ongoing safety program, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been purchased for the building sites and for the store. According to the American Red Cross, an AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.

“Habitat affiliates around the United States as home builders and through our retail thrift stores have a strong culture of safety,” notes Habitat Choptank Executive Director Nancy Andrew. “This is just another way to help protect and care for our volunteers.” Grants from Choptank Electric Trust and the Todd Fund at Mid-Shore Community Foundation provided funds for the purchasing two of the three AEDs. Forty volunteers, plus staff, have been trained to use the equipment.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 64 low-income home buyers from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build a better future for themselves through home ownership. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses and purchased their home with a 20 to 30-year no interest Habitat mortgage.  Currently, three partners are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward the goal of becoming successful home owners.

For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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