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State Health Officials Declare Bridgeport A 'HEARTSafe' Community

Mayor Joe Ganim, front row, second from left, accepts a state plaque declaring Bridgeport a HEARTSafe community.
Mayor Joe Ganim, front row, second from left, accepts a state plaque declaring Bridgeport a HEARTSafe community. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim announced that the Connecticut State Department of Public Health has declared Bridgeport a "HEARTSafe" community, recognizing the number of citizens who have been trained in life saving measures such as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and the strategic placement of Automated External Defibrillators in the community to improve the survival chances of anyone suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

Ganim officially made this declaration during National Public Health Week, on Thursday April 7.

Bridgeport becomes the 118th municipality in Connecticut to carry the ‘HEARTSafe’ Community designation.

“I am very proud that Bridgeport has achieved this designation because it means that anyone who has sudden heart problems has a much better chance of survival in our city,” said Ganim. “The more residents of Bridgeport that can be trained in CPR and know how to use a defibrillator, the more immediate care can be given to anyone who has a heart attack even before the ambulance arrives. Immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest."

Michele Connelly, with the Connecticut Department of Health Office of Emergency Services, said “The Connecticut Department of Public Health would like to congratulate the city of Bridgeport for becoming a HEARTSafe community. Designation as a HEARTSafe Community represents a true community effort. Most importantly, it recognizes the citizens throughout the community that took the time and effort to become CPR and AED certified."

Ganim made the announcement that Bridgeport is a HEARTsafe community at Ralph n Rich’s restaurant in downtown Bridgeport in order to salute the heroic efforts of bartender Saayied Halabi of Bridgeport.

In December of 2015, Halabi came to the aid of restaurant patron John Simon, who suddenly suffered massive cardiac arrest. Halabi’s emergency intervention to apply CPR and use the defibrillator available on premises was critical to stabilizing Simon enough by the time Emergency Medical Technicians arrived that he survived the ordeal.

Ganim presented a mayoral proclamation to Halabi in recognition of his life-saving efforts.

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