Ashforth Launches Lifesaving Defibrillation Program

March 29, 2003

STAMFORD, Conn., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Albert B. Ashforth, Inc., the Management Services division of The Ashforth Company, has launched the first portfolio wide Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Program by a management company in the country. A total of 30 defibrillators were purchased for buildings managed by Ashforth in Fairfield, County, CT and Westchester County, NY, as well as Greater Philadelphia, PA and Portland, OR.

The employees, clients and visitors of the tenants in Ashforth managed buildings will have a better chance of surviving a cardiac arrest in the workplace because of the newly installed Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs). Security personnel and Ashforth staff have been trained to respond to a cardiac emergency and to use the AED equipment, and administer CPR until emergency medical service professionals arrive at the scene.

According to the American Heart Association, every day in the United States 600 adults are victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the workplace. Cardiac arrest is a condition in which abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias cause the heart's electrical impulses to suddenly become chaotic. The heart stops abruptly when this happens and the victim collapses and quickly loses consciousness. A victim's chance of survival is reduced by 10% for each minute after the onset of cardiac arrest. Defibrillation is the only known treatment to restore normal heart rhythm. Lives may be saved with rapid deployment of an AED.

"AEDs are safe and easy to use, making it possible for non-medical personnel to be trained to provide rapid defibrillation. AED programs are growing around the country as a result of Good Samaritan immunity statutes that have been enacted in most states," according to Norman Pool, CEO of Network Medical Systems, Inc., a training center for the American Heart Association.

"The availability of AEDs to the public and the development of PAD programs is relatively new. When we realized that we could help prevent a potential tragedy in the workplace, the decision to implement this program throughout our portfolio was an easy one," explained Robert W. Hartt, Executive Vice President of The Ashforth Company's Management Services division.

The AEDs, which are Powerheart® AED's, manufactured by Irvine, CA-based Cardiac Science, Inc. are maintained in wall-mounted cabinets, which are connected to a central station security monitoring system. When the cabinet is opened, a 9-1-1 call will be automatically dispatched to local emergency services.

"Ashforth's commitment to the AED program reflects our commitment to serve all of our client companies and all of their respective employees in every way we can," noted Hartt.

The Ashforth Company, headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, is a 107-year old commercial real estate investor and operator that provides fully integrated services, including asset and property management, general contracting and construction management. Directly and through its affiliates, the company has ownership interests in 4.5 million square feet of commercial office space and manages 9 million square feet of space on the East and West Coasts.

Source: Cardiac Science, Inc.

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