Westbrook Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte, left, My Place Teen Center CEO Donna Dwyer and Laurie and Gary Rairdon with MPTC’s new automated exterior defibrillator. Chance Viles/American Journal

WESTBROOK— Not long before he died, Matthew Rairdon saved a woman’s life using CPR. To honor his memory beyond the annual Westbrook Strong 5K, his parents have donated automated external defibrillators to My Place Teen Center in Westbrook and Riding to The Top in Windham.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that can save the life of someone with a heart attack or other life-threatening condition through the use of electronic shock.

“A few weeks before he died, Matt saved a woman’s life in the hospital who flat-lined,” Gary Rairdon said. “We thought this was an out of the box way to keep Matt’s memories alive. I remember he was so ecstatic to save that woman, so having this AED is like continuing Matt’s work.”

The Rairdons wanted to expand the scope of Westbrook Strong beyond its scholarships by donating an AED to Riding to the Top, a non-profit therapeutic riding center in Windham where their son volunteered, and to the teen center, which provides after school programs for youth at 755 Main St.

AEDs cost about $1,500 a piece, making them expensive for many nonprofits.

“We are so grateful for this. This has been on our wish list for a while now,” said Donna Dwyer, CEO of MPTC, noting that with the large number of children attending MPTC programs it is important to be prepared.

“I hope you never have to use it, but it is there as insurance,” Rairdon said.

The AEDs were secured for a reduced cost of $900 each with the help of Westbrook Fire Chief Andy Turcotte. They are the same as the Fire Department uses, so if someone is hooked up to the MPTC AED, medics upon arrival will easily be able to switch over to their equipment.

“There are important to have in such large places,” Turcotte said. “We are working on funding to secure even more AEDs and equipment for them for groups around.”

The Fire Department also is working on purchasing PulsePoint, a phone app that alerts others to a heart-related emergency nearby.

“We put in the location of the AEDs in the area, and people who know CPR and that are on PulsePoint will see exactly where the closest device is right on the application,” he said.

Users of PulsePoint get notifications when someone in the area is in need of help, and through the app, they can find them quickly and the needed equipment, possibly before emergency responders even arrive.

“So now we are keeping tabs of who has them and where they are,” Turcotte said.

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