County Distributes 100 AEDs
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Chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest are sharply improved with distribution of 100 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to law enforcement agencies across Moore County.
The distribution was made by Moore County Emergency Medical Services, which successfully applied for a $100,000 grant last year from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administra-tion.
The grant was boosted by a $17,500 matching grant allocated by the Moore County Board of Commissioners and a $2,500 grant from HeartSafe Moore County.
"We set a goal to dramatically improve the survival rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest," said Bryan Phillips, county director of public safety. "Once we were under way with the schools and business centers in the county, we looked at other partner agencies that could respond rapidly to the patients and deliver lifesaving electrical therapy.
"We decided the best way to achieve this goal was to deploy an AED in every patrol vehicle in the county."
Phillips said fire departments and rescue squads already have the devices, but geography, traffic and call volumes sometimes prevent them from being able to get to the patient in sufficient time.
An AED is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart. AEDs have the capability of saving 50,000 lives a year from sudden cardiac arrest.
HeartSafe Moore County (HSMC), which initiated the AED project in 2007, has transferred the program to the county's EMS/Public Safety agencies, according to Claudia Watson, spokeswoman for HSMC.
Watson said that the latest distribution to law enforcement agencies brings the number of AEDs placed and registered in Moore County to 334. She added that the nonprofit's goal of placing AEDs in all county schools was reached on March 1, with placement of 54 devices on 24 campuses. Pinehurst Medical Clinic Cardiology donated the final four.
HSMC is a local nonprofit organization that developed a public access defibrillation program model that makes AEDs widely and readily available across the county. The organization has received statewide recognition for its work to save lives.
Collaboration between EMS and HeartSafe began in 2007, when they cooperated in deploying AEDs to the public schools and to high-traffic areas, such as the Southern Pines business district.
A partnership with law enforcement units is considered an ideal way to supplement the work of emergency responders. Law enforcement personnel already undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED training, and recertification in these procedures is required every two years.
Phillips said the police chiefs and the sheriff were supportive of the idea.
The latest AED distribution provides at least one device to each police department, with the larger agencies receiving multiple units.
Watson said the village of Pinehurst is working with HSMC to complete installation and/or relocation of AED units to make them more accessible to the public. The village's business district will soon become HeartSafe. The Southern Pines business district was declared HeartSafe in 2008.
Cardiac Science Corp., the HeartSafe project vendor-partner, is offering its star defibrillator at a deeply discounted price, and Watson said individuals and organizations may contact EMS (910) 945-6500 for more information.
"Generous lead gifts to the Foundation of First Health's Kids in Crisis Fund as well as gifts from several individuals, businesses, and civic organizations in early 2008 helped the HSMC effort get off the ground," Watson said. "The Moore County Community Foundation, John W. Roffe and Marjorie A. Roffe Endowment and the Moore Regional Hospital Foundation provided sizable grants to ensure the AED installation goals were met for the public schools."
Civic groups participating included Kiwanis, Rotary and Optimist clubs.
Additional information about the AED program is available from Scot Brooks, deputy director of public safety, at (910) 947-6317 or email@example.com.
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