AEDs in the Community

When was the AED program approved? Our AED program is still in its infancy. We started the needs assessment and research last January. We just went to our city leaders for approval about one week ago. How many AEDs have you implemented so far in the community? In August we will be implementing the training and placement process. For now we have seven AEDs to be placed throughout the community. Where have the AEDs been implemented? We did an assessment of the best places to place the AEDs. Here are our first seven locations: City Hall, County Court House, Community Center, Local Parks and Recreation Walking Track, Public Library, Health Department, and Police Department Headquarters. How did you obtain the AEDs? The city is purchasing two AEDs, and we received five AEDs through a rural health grant. How much did you pay for them? For the two AEDs that the city is purchasing, the state contract pricing is $1086.21 each that is for the Zoll AED Plus. What were the initial concerns at first surrounding the AED use? The initial concern from the public has been Can I harm someone by shocking them when they don t need it? and Can I get sued? Have there been any training programs? We have been teaching CPR for years and just recently added the AED component. Starting in August, we will go to these locations that we have chosen for AED placement to teach their employees. In addition, at least twice yearly we will conduct a community CPR/AED class. What do you think are some of the benefits to having AEDs in the community? Of course, saving lives is the ultimate goal. We are a very busy EMS system, and if the closest ambulance is out on another run, then precious minutes are lost. As you know, in sudden cardiac arrest, minutes matter. If we can strategically place these AEDs, hopefully we can have one in the right place at the right time. What advice do you have to others that want to start up an AED program? As with any program be patient, you must walk slowly before you can run. Study the needs and resources of your community. Study the legal aspects on a national, state, and local level. Look at all of the products out there so you can make an informed decision. What has been the public response? Do you know if any of the AEDs have been used yet or saved someone's life yet? The public response has been favorable. Our local newspaper has been conducting an online poll at www.winchestersun.com asking the question, Do you feel comfortable with the idea of someone using one [an AED] on you in an emergency? The last time I checked the poll, about 63-65% voted yes. To answer the last part of that question, we have not had an AED save someone, but check back in a year I hope I will be able to say yes!