2017-01-05 / Sutton

AED bill approved by Massachusetts lawmakers

By Robert Fucci


John and Luann Ellsessar of Sutton present the Millbury Police Department with two AEDs (automated external defibrillators) at a short ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The Elsessars have provided almost 40 of the units to area schools, police departments and other organizations via the Michael T. Elllsessar Memorial Fund. 
File photo courtesy Edd Cote John and Luann Ellsessar of Sutton present the Millbury Police Department with two AEDs (automated external defibrillators) at a short ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The Elsessars have provided almost 40 of the units to area schools, police departments and other organizations via the Michael T. Elllsessar Memorial Fund. File photo courtesy Edd Cote Lawmakers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved a bill this week requiring every public high school in the state to have automatic external defibrillators.

Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign it into law.

The bill was pushed to the state’s lawmakers thanks to the efforts of John and Luann Ellsessar of Sutton.

The Ellsessars lost two of their sons during separate athletic activities.

Tim Ellsessar was 18 when died on July 29, 2015, after diving 20 feet from a boat to the bottom of the pond at Lake Manchaug in Sutton. Tim surfaced, complained he was dizzy, and started to sink. His older brother, Patrick, pulled him out of the water and immediately began CPR. Tim died at the hospital in Webster to what was deemed a “cardiac event.”

The Ellsessars lost their middle son, Michael, in 2010 at the age of 16 after a blow to the chest during a high school football game called commotio cordis triggered sudden cardiac arrest.

Nearly 300 public schools in Massachusetts are without AEDs, which cost upward of $900.

According to the American Red Cross, AEDs are medical devices that analyze heart rhythms and can deliver electrical shocks that can help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest. The American Red Cross suggests that all Americans should be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.

According to the bill, every public school will also need to have a person on staff who is trained as an AED provider, and school administrators will need to ensure that an AED and provider are “readily available at any school-sponsored athletic event.”

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