Ten fire and police departments around the country are gearing up to implement much-needed AEDs won through the Cardiac Science online contest held in December in partnership with Firehouse.com and Officer.com.
Many of those selected were able to share the inspiring stories of how these AEDs will impact their systems – and how they’re further working to overcome financial challenges to better serve their communities.
The agencies will each receive one Cardiac Science Powerheart AED G3, which includes:
* Rescue Ready® technology with daily self-tests
* Intellisense® lithium battery with 4-year guarantee
* 7-year warranty
* Ready Kit and carry case
* Two sets of defibrillation pads
* And more
Earlton Fire District, N.Y.
“We never dreamed we’d have a chance,” said Firefighter Charlie Pike. “We’re just a small fire department in upstate New York.” He described the area as a small community with one restaurant, a campground, and very limited funds.
Pike, who is also a per diem paramedic, is in charge of the department’s AED program, which previously involved maintenance and training for just one AED. He’s delighted that they’ll now have a second.
“We have one on one of our fire engines that we purchased on a close-out sale, also from Cardiac Science,” he said.
They’ve had that one for close to five years but haven’t had enough money to buy another , he said, so when it leaves on the engine, the firehouse has been left unprotected. Pike said that has been unacceptable because the fire department is a central location for community events such as parties, as a polling place, and for a rabies vaccine clinic that draws hundreds.
“So this one is to stay in the firehouse to keep it covered for events or anyone who comes in,” Pike said.
“…Everybody in the fire department still thinks I’m kidding them… they’re all very excited and appreciative.”
City of Antelope, Ore.
The community has never before had an AED, so this will be their first, said Fire Chief Michael Carter.
“We had solicited businesses to donate, but donations are hard to get when money is short and you’re in a rural area,” he said.
He said they’re a small city department, but also respond 10-15 miles outside the town. “It’s an unofficial district because there’s nothing else out there,” he said.
Ambulance service takes 45 minutes to an hour to arrive, and helicopter rescue service takes 35-40 minutes, so having a local AED is imperative, he said. This one will be kept on a local rescue rig.
Carter said acquiring their first AED is part of a larger end-goal; getting a second AED to keep at the town’s post office because it’s centrally located and open to residents 24/7; helping to get an AED for a sister community; and developing a local EMS program.
“Everything’s got to have a start,” he said. “It will come in very handy… it’s a good first step in the right direction.”
Wausau Fire, Wis.
“I typically look at Firehouse every morning at work – the contest was something I saw on the website,” said Josh Finke of the department’s EMS division. “...We appreciate the award and it will be put to good use.”
Wausau Fire is working to get a substantial AED program up and running, Finke said. They’re trying to upgrade the AEDs they currently have on their vehicles and to increase the success of their cardiac arrest programs.
Finke said this new AED will go on their fire marshal’s vehicle, and they hope to acquire more to add to their fire inspectors’ vehicles. He said the city also now has 10 distributed in buildings around the city.
“The hope is after this we can continue to develop the program,” he said.
He explained that the department has multiple efforts going on as they seek to improve their cardiac arrest survival rates. Among other things, these include “pushing the things that work - early CPR and early AED, and free education for citizens.”