Southold Historical Museum receives $4.5,000 donation to purchase life-saving AEDs


The Southold Historical Museum has received a $4,500 donation to purchase three automated external defibrillators – the lifesaving devices used on people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

Museum staff were recently reviewing their emergency plan and a question arose during a steering committee meeting about the need for AEDs, the museum said.

The museum contacted the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation, which supported the museum. Deanna Witte-Walker, the executive director, wrote a letter to the foundation to see if they would help with the purchase of three AED devices.

The foundation wrote a check for $4,500 with a note saying, “Glad to be able to help. Keep up the good work. History matters,” according to a press release from the Southold Historical Museum.

AEDs will be available now if needed at the Prince Building, Maple Lane Complex and Horton Point Lighthouse Nautical Museum.

“Having AEDs on our sites was important to the board, but our budget is very tight,” Ms. Witte-Walker said in a statement. “Thanks to this generous donation from the Reichert Family Foundation, we did not have to withdraw an activity to finance the AEDs. The Foundation has facilitated the purchase of these devices which can become very important in an emergency.

Chris Manfredi, a Southold Fire Service volunteer, offered to arrange a training session with museum staff through the Southold Fire Service Training Centre. A training session was held at the Southold Recreation Department on Thursday. The training included not only the use of AEDs, but also CPR.

There are approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests per year in the workplace, according to the American Heart Association. Immediate CPR and use of an AED can “double or even triple survival rates,” according to the AHS. AHS has a campaign advocating workplace safety measures that include AED training and public access to AEDs.

The chance or survival while waiting for emergency medical services during a cardiac emergency decreases by 10% for every minute without CPR, according to the AHS. You can find more information about the training at

To find out more about the Southold Historical Museum, visit their site hereor call 631-765-5500.

“As a private, non-profit organization, it can sometimes be difficult to get everything needed to function properly,” the museum said in its press release. “The kindness of the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation and Chris Manfredi through the Southold Fire Service Training Center enabled the Southold Historical Museum to acquire these desired safety devices.”

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Patrick F. Williams