State Senator Mark Montigny joined with community leaders to distribute 25 state-of-the-art automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to locations across the city Wednesday during a press conference at NorthStar Learning Center in New Bedford. 

The AEDs were purchased with $25,000 in state funds Montigny secured from the FY17 state budget with the creation of the Sean Toomey Life Saver Program.

The program is in memory of city native and advocate Sean Toomey who died of a heart attack in June 2014 at the age of 42.

Toomey was a volunteer for Montigny's early campaigns for senator and the two remained close friends over the years.

"Sean was not only a community leader but a dear, dear friend of mine," Montigny said. "We spent years in the trenches, not only running campaigns but trying to do good public service and we had lots of fun."

The Toomey family worked to identify local nonprofit organizations and public areas in need of AEDs and teamed with Montigny's office and Southcoast Health to acquire the appropriate equipment, funding and training.

Toomey's sister Maureen said given Sean's love for the city, it's appropriate his legacy will live on among community-based locations and organizations.

"Sean had a love for this city that was unrelenting," she said. "He truly believed in the essence of New Bedford, its people, the community and its future."

The AEDs are able to seamlessly connect to the new cardiac equipment in all New Bedford EMS ambulances. The devices can be used in a cardiac emergency and are simple enough for any individual to operate.

Recipients of AEDs through the Sean Toomey Life Saver Program:

  • NorthStar Learning
  • Buttonwood Park Zoo
  • YWCA
  • Immigrants' Assistance Center
  • New Bedford Parks and Recreation
    • Lawler Branch Library
    • Fort Taber (2 devices)
    • Buttonwood Park
    • Brooklawn Park
    • Hazelwood Park
    • Andrea McCoy Recreation Center
    • Ashley Park
    • Parks and Recreation off-site device
    • Low Tide Yacht Club Community Center
    • Military Museum
  • City Hall (2 devices)
  • Your Theater, Inc.
  • GiftsToGive
  • Our Sisters' School
  • Harbor Development Commission (Wharfinger Bldg)
  • Whaling Museum (2 devices)
  • Seamen's Bethel & Mariner's Home

Three other locations also received devices through a previous program by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Those were Dennison Memorial, Boys and Girls Club and YMCA Southcoast.