Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saving Lives with AED

Frank Storch, with the help of others such as Dr. Elimelech Goldstein, launched a program ten years ago which has the potential to save many lives; the AED program. With support from Project Ezra and the Chesed Fund of Baltimore, these pioneers have been installing automated external defibrillators in synagogues and other places where people gather.

Frank Storch said at a fundraiser for the program that,
“Thousands of lives each year would be saved if more defibrillators were placed throughout the country. We, as the Jewish nation, value life tremendously. The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Program shows achdus, unity, and our commitment to help all Jewish people, regardless of their affiliations,” said Frank Storch, who oversees the Chesed Fund Ltd.

Dr. Goldstein explained a bit about how the program first started back in 2003. Back then he was teaching CPR at local synagogues and schools as a volunteer for project Ezra. The group he worked with had talked about getting AEDs, but they were extremely expensive. But in 2003 the price on a certain model came down to only $1,000, which changed everything.

“We called a meeting together at Suburban Orthodox [Congregation Toras Chaim] for basically every synagogue and Jewish school in the state. We had a pretty full room and we offered the program to everyone. There were not a whole lot of people who turned it down,” recalled Dr. Goldstein.

Within just a few months 14 AEDs were installed in the Balitimore area. Now there are 70 such devices throughout Baltimore, and at least two lives have already been saved.