Southold Historical Museum receives $4.5K donation to purchase lifesaving AEDs

The Southold Historical Museum received a $4,500 donation toward the purchase of three automated external defibrillators — the lifesaving devices used on people suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

Staff at the museum were recently reviewing their emergency plan and a question came up during a meeting of the policy committee about a need for AEDs, the museum said.

The museum reached out to the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation, which has been a supporter of the museum. Deanna Witte-Walker, the executive director, wrote a letter to the foundation to see if it would assist with the purchases of three AED machines.

The foundation wrote a $4,500 check with a note saying: “Glad we can help. Keep up the good work. History is important,” according to a press release from the Southold Historical Museum.

The AEDs will be available now if needed at the Prince Building, the Maple Lane Complex and the Nautical Museum at Horton Point Lighthouse.

“Having AEDs at our locations was important to the Board of Trustees, but our budget is very tight,” Ms. Witte-Walker said in a statement. “Because of this generous donation from the Reichert Family Foundation, we did not have to take away from one activity to fund the AEDs. The Foundation made it easy to purchase these devices that can become very important during an emergency.”

Chris Manfredi, a volunteer in the Southold Fire Department, offered to hold a training session with the museum’s staff through the Southold Fire Department Training Center. A training session took place Thursday at the Southold Recreation Department. The training included not only how to use AEDs, but also CPR.

There are an estimated 10,000 cardiac arrests annually in the workplace, according to the American Heart Association. Immediate CPR and use of an AED can “double or even triple survival rates,” the AHS says. The AHS has a campaign advocating for workplace safety measures that include AED training and public access to AEDs.

The chance or survival while waiting for emergency medical services during a cardiac emergency decreases by 10% every minute without CPR, the AHS says. More information on training can be found at

To find out more about the Southold Historical Museum, visit their website here, or call 631-765-5500.

“As a private nonprofit, it can sometimes be difficult to secure all that is needed to operate smoothly,” the museum said in its media release. “The kindness of both the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation and Chris Manfredi through the Southold Fire Department Training Center has allowed Southold Historical Museum to acquire these desired safety devices.”