Alderman Approves $75k+ Purchase of Defibrillators for City Vehicles

The board voted 4-1 in favor of the purchase.

Frederick, MD – The Board of Alderman met Thursday evening and approved the $75,440 purchase of 80 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for use in city vehicles that routinely contain more than one employee.

“We have AEDs in our buildings but often we have employees that work out in the field,” City of Frederick’s Risk, Safety and Compliance Manager Joe Lindstrom said. “This would give them access to lifesaving equipment as well.”

Lindstrom said about 89 AEDs are currently in city buildings and they have been used “once or twice” in his four year tenure in the department.

Alderman Ben MacShane said he wasn’t sure about the necessity of the defibrillators when they are already being infrequently used.

“This seems like a lot of money for a device that I do understand is a lifesaving device,” MacShane said. “But I’m not sure that, in a rational sense, this is bringing a lot of safety back for the investment.”

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak argued in favor of purchase and said the price would be worth it.

“As the widow of a person who died at 34 from a very rare heart condition and the mother of a child with a defibrillator literally in his heart,” Kezemchak said. “I think it’s well worth the money to protect our employees from something that could happen.”

Mayor Michael O’Connor clarified the application, saying the funds were already allocated to department by the fiscal year 2020 budget, and the application is for permission to spend the money.

“This is not an expenditure that we dreamed up,” O’Connor said. “This was discussed last spring when the budget was approved by the board.”

According to the presentation, the Purchasing Department sourced a contract to purchase the AED equipment at negotiated rate.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of the purchase with MacShane voting no.

By Timothy Young