Foundation Donates Defibrillator to Steel River

Displaying the new AED (at top) at Steel River Playhouse are Velva Zarley, its patron services manager; Leena Devlin, artistic director; and Rita Pederson, development director

POTTSTOWN PA – An automated external defibrillator, used to help those experiencing a heart attack, has been donated to Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High St., by the non-profit Aidan’s Heart Foundation, officials at the popular downtown performing arts center announced Wednesday (Oct. 21, 2020).

Foundation Donates Defibrillator to Steel River

Better known by its acronym, an AED (at right) is described by the American Red Cross as “a sophisticated yet easy-to-use medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.”

It’s an important piece of equipment that’s been proven to save lives and, Steel River representatives recognized, “it is prohibitively expensive.” The foundation gift, they said, “enables us to have an AED accessible in our lobby area to help protect not only our patrons and artists, but our community nearby.”

Aidan’s Heart Foundation, headquartered in Thorndale PA, was formed shortly after the unexpected sudden cardiac arrest death of Aidan Joseph Silva in Fall 2010. The foundation said it “is committed to providing awareness, education, and support … to create heart-safe communities for youth” to communities in the southeast Pennsylvania.

More than 20,000 people annually pass through Steel River’s doors for performances, educational opportunities, meetings, and community events, its Managing Artistic Director Leena Devlin noted. Plans have already been made to ensure playhouse staff members and volunteers receive training on the proper way to use the new equipment, a cost also covered by the foundation donation, she said.

Activities at the playhouse are “currently taking an intermission to protect our artists and community” during the coronavirus pandemic,” a media release added.

Photos provided by Steel River Playhouse