Heartening donation

Connecticut company donates ‘AED’ to Alibrandi Center
By luke eggleston / SUN staff writer

The name “Alibrandi” has been synonymous with Catholicism at Syracuse University since the chaplaincy adopted the name in 1982.

The name was adopted when a significant donation from the Alibrandi family enabled the center to construct its largest addition.

Recently, the same name drew attention when John Alibrandi, the president of First Responder Educational Services, LLC donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to the center.

First Responder is located in Westport, Conn. It has provided similar AEDs to the University of Connecticut as well as several police departments and assisted living homes.

Father John Ruffo, OFM Conv, has been the chaplain at the Alibrandi Center since January following the departure of fellow Franciscan Father Tim Mulligan. The Franciscans initially arrived at the center in 1996 at the invitation of Bishop James Moynihan.

Father Ruffo welcomed the donation.

“I thought it was a very thoughtful, kind gesture,” Father Ruffo said, adding that anywhere people gather in large numbers could use such a device.

Alibrandi explained that his company places AEDs at various places throughout the country.

“They need to be in all facilities,” he said.

Of the one million people stricken by sudden cardiac arrest in the U.S., 400,000 people die each year. If an AED is employed upon the onset of cardiac arrest, the victim’s survival rate is 90 percent. If one is not used, his or her survival rate plummets to five percent or less depending on one’s location.

An AED analyzes the rhythm of the victim’s heart and automatically adjusts to it before delivering the shock, which may help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm, according to Alibrandi.

He added that AEDs such as the one donated to the center at SU are simple enough to be understood by a sixth grader.

The cost of an AED ranges from $1,300 to $2,800 but the one First Responder donated to the Alibrandi Center cost $1,700.

The last weekend in September, the company will also train Father Ruffo to use the device.

Through its program FREScares, the company has donated 10 AEDs already and plans on donating 10 more.

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