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The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has purchased 13 Lifepak CR Plus automated external defibrillators – eight that will be mounted inside security cabinets in city facilities, including Greer City Hall. Five mobile units will be kept on-site during athletic practices and games, as well as during special events such as Moonlight Movies and Freedom Blast.
“We’re really excited about having these. Ensuring the safety and security of our patrons and our staff is a priority when planning any event or activity, or as well as managing any of our facilities and parks,” said Ann Cunningham, the city’s director of parks and recreation. “In the United States there are thousands of casualties that involve sudden cardiac arrest, most causing the victim’s abrupt death.
“Many of the Parks and Recreation Department staff are currently trained in first aid and CPR, however we haven’t had the ability to address an incident with a defibrillator until now.”
The fully automatic AED unit is simple to operate thanks to ClearVoice© technology that guides a user through two simple steps: opening the unit and applying two color-coded electrode pads that include illustrations showing exactly where to place each pad.
The unit then takes over and determines if the victim’s heart needs a shock. It automatically issues a voice warning to responders and issues the shock when necessary.
“It does everything. It’s really made for a lay person,” Greer Fire Department training officer Capt. Josh Holzheimer said. I’m super excited about this, especially from the Fire Department’s side. We have a great response time in the city and get (to a scene) within four or five minutes. However, national statistics tell us that’s not quick enough. Having these units in place allows a victim to be shocked even quicker and making the chance of survival higher.”
Holzheimer, who consulted with the Parks and Recreation Department on the purchase of the AEDs, said the defibrillator units carried by his department’s first responders and emergency medical technicians from Greenville and Spartanburg counties are fully compatible with the new units. Once emergency personnel arrive, they can continue using the AED unit or plug the paddles into their unit.
Holzheimer will also develop a training program for city employees.
The city purchased the AEDs directly from manufacturer Physio-Control of Redmond, Wash., at a cost of $1,676.50 per unit.
Each AED unit conducts weekly and extended monthly automatic self-tests, initialization tests each time it is powered on, and a series of concurrent tests throughout the time the device is in operation. A battery charger keeps the internal battery at its optimum level during the life of the unit.
In addition to city hall, units will be mounted in the police department, municipal court, the operations center home to the Parks and Recreation and Public Services departments, Victor Gym, Needmore Recreation Center, Cannon Centre, and the Tryon Recreation Center.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The American Red Cross estimates that more than 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year, noting that an AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm.
Each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by approximately 10 percent.