Lake Hamilton Fire and Rescue recently received two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) through a partnership with LifeNet that is designed to help improve access to AEDs throughout the community.

“These two AEDs bring us to nine devices in our department. We already had an AED at each of our five stations and two firemen were also carrying AEDs in their personal vehicles.  These AEDs give two additional firemen the opportunity to carry an AED with them, too,” said Lake Hamilton Fire & Rescue Chief Doug Davey. “We cover approximately 40 square miles serving more than 20,000 people. Having the ability to have AEDs with our firemen improves response time when time is truly of the essence because we can go directly to the scene.”

An AED is a portable defibrillator that is used to shock the victim’s heart back into rhythm during cardiac arrest. It is estimated that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before arriving at the hospital. Where defibrillation is provided within 5 to 7 minutes, the survival rate from cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent. Since all AED’s are portable and most are designed to be lightweight and user friendly, these devices help emergency medical personnel provide immediate, lifesaving care for the victim of sudden cardiac arrest.

“Ideally, every street in every community would have easy access to an AED, so whenever someone had a sudden cardiac arrest, the lifesaving device would be available as quick as possible,” said LifeNet General Manager Jason Gartner. “Our job is to save lives, and this program is part of our pledge to ensure early access to advanced treatment is possible throughout the community when a sudden cardiac arrest happens.”

According to the American Heart Association, a person’s chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest drops by seven to ten percent for every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored. AEDs work by delivering electricity to the heart when someone is in sudden cardiac arrest, which means the heart is not pumping blood through the body effectively and blood is not carrying oxygen to those parts of the body that need it.

LifeNet has been assisting first responders, businesses, churches, and other organizations throughout the community in purchasing AEDs for several years.

“LifeNet is committed to making our community a safer place, and providing funding to help provide AEDs in the community is one way we help,” said Gartner.  “Through the program, we ask as a partner agency to essentially fund half of the cost of a new Zoll AED, while LifeNet funds the other half.”

To learn more about LifeNet’s AED Matching Fund Program, click here.