By Lori Cathey
Through a combined effort between Gibson County EMS and Gibson County Fire Department, officials recently secured 39 automated external defibrillator (AED) machines for city and county first responder agencies.
“Happy to provide the city and county agencies with new automated external defibrillator machines,” Dan Fowlkes, Gibson County EMS director. “Combined with current monitors on EMS ambulances, they will have a seamless transfer of care.”
An automated external defibrillator is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia and is able to treat them through defibrillation. The application of electricity, which stops the arrhythmia, allows the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.
In each of these two types of shockable cardiac arrhythmia, the heart is electrically active but in a dysfunctional pattern that does not allow it to pump and circulate blood. The AED will only deliver a shock when necessary.
An AED is used in cases of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias which lead to sudden cardiac arrest, which is not the same as a heart attack.
AED are kept where health professionals and first responders can use them as well as public access units which can be found in public places including sportsplexes, churches, schools, government offices, shopping centers, restaurants, public transport, and any other location where people may congregate.
With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, certified first responder, and basic life support level cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes.
“Working together to help Gibson County citizens in their time of need in an emergency situation, I consider that to be a great improvement to our communities,” said Gibson County Fire Chief Bryan Cathey.
Agencies receiving the life-saving machines are the Trenton, Milan, Dyer, Bradford, Yorkville, and Medina fire departments, Humboldt Area Rescue Squad, and Gibson County fire departments.