Published on May 09, 2017

Boyer's Food Markets Becomes First Grocery Store to Install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Berks County Stores

Boyer's Food Markets, Inc., will be the first grocery chain in Berks County to install an AED in each of four stores located in the county. The stores are located in Bernville, Birdsboro, Fleetwood and Womelsdorf, Pa. Boyer's intends to implement the machines in all its locations in the near future. Chances of survival increase 30 to 70 percent when an AED is used within minutes from the onset of a sudden cardiac arrest. On Wednesday, May 10 at 12:30 p.m., The Friends of Reading Hospital will join the team at Boyer's Food Market, Inc. for the installation of the AED located at 200 W 1st Street, Birdsboro, PA 19508.

An AED is a portable device that can be used by anyone to detect any abnormal rhythms in the heart. If indicated, the AED will deliver an electrical shock to someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Fully automatic AEDs are designed for use by the public. All AEDs approved for use in the United States use an electronic voice to prompt users through each step.

Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical problem in the heart that causes the heart to stop pumping blood. People of all ages - including children and teenagers - can be victims of sudden cardiac arrest. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

"Last year, several individuals had sudden cardiac arrests in grocery stores in our county. This investment is a testament to the commitment Boyer's Food Markets has to the safety of their customers and employees," said Lil Murphy, Chair, HeartSAFE Berks County, The Friends of Reading Hospital. In December 2010, Reading Hospital and The Friends of Reading Hospital launched HeartSAFE Berks County, an initiative designed to increase the chance of survival for people who have heart-related emergencies in the community, through education about the chain of survival: Call 9-1-1, Start CPR, Immediate Access to an AED, and Advanced Medical Care. Since its inception, more than 520 AEDs have been placed in Berks County by The Friends of Reading Hospital.

Boyer's Food Market President Dean Walker said, "We are excited to partner with HeartSAFE Berks County and The Friends of Reading Hospital. We believe that providing our customers and teammates this added security supports our core mission and values regarding exceptional customer service. We hope that our leadership in this area will encourage others to make the same investment in the best interest of public health and safety."

Miller Regional Heart Center at Reading Hospital in partnership with The Friends of Reading Hospital have also developed a strategic alliance with Physio Control, Inc., that allows anyone in Berks County the opportunity to purchase an AED at a discounted rate. These are the same AEDs that have been distributed to police departments, first responders and schools throughout the County. Additional information about the HeartSAFE Berks County program, call 484-628-8477 or HeartSAFE@readinghealth.org.