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AUSTIN, Texas -- Leading organic and natural foods retailer Whole Foods Market has installed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all of its Florida stores and work locations.
The chain said it is the first supermarket chain in Florida to deploy these life-saving devices comprehensively to protect both customers and employees.
Defibtech ReviveR AEDs -- used to revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest -- have been placed in stores in Aventura, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, Plantation, Sarasota and Winter Park, as well as at Whole Foods' corporate regional office and bakehouse in Plantation.
Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp., the distributor of the ReviveR and provider of highly specialized services to businesses, will provide AED maintenance and training to personnel at each Florida site.
"Placing these AEDs in all our Florida stores is the right thing to do," said Bruce Isaacs, regional safety specialist for Whole Foods, in a statement. "We're a company that cares about its customers and team members, and this technology significantly increases the chances of survival for anyone in our stores stricken with sudden cardiac arrest." Whole Foods Market has more than 1,500 team members in Florida, he added.
AEDs revive victims of sudden cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation. Studies show that if victims are defibrillated within a minute or two after arrest, more than 70 percent survive, according to Whole Foods and Cintas.
Defibtech AEDs have been deployed in many locations around the world, including stores, workplaces, and public facilities; police, fire, and emergency vehicles; and at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.
Defibtech is headquartered in Guilford, Conn.
In other Whole Foods-related news, the retailer said yesterday that on June 21, it will donate 5 percent of the day's sales from all Whole Foods Market Houston stores to Spacetaker, a Houston-based cultural arts organization. The special event is the latest of Whole Foods' Community Giving Days.
On the day of the event, representatives from Spacetaker will be available at all Whole Foods Market Houston stores to answer customers' questions regarding the organization, provide a detailed calendar of local arts events, and discuss its educational outreach programs.