Recently during a CPR re-certification and AED (automated external defibrillator) training class hosted and attended by Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department members, it was learned that only two deputy vehicles in the Rush County Sheriff Department were equipped with AED’s.
Frequently law enforcement personnel are the first to arrive at the scene of medical and other emergencies in the county. With that in mind, during a medical emergency such as a heart attack, time is crucial and seconds matter. According to PTVFD Chief Jeff Ernstes, as a means to be in a position to better serve the township and county when dispatched to heart attack or cardiac arrest, members voted to purchase an AED and donate it to the RCSD.
During a recent meeting by PTVFD members, deputy Terry Drake accepted the AED on behalf of county law enforcement agency.
An AED is a battery operated device that automatically diagnoses life threatening heart arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib) and ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach).
V-Fib is considered the most serious heart rhythm disruption and is defined as when the lower chambers of the heart quiver and are unable to pump blood a condition that leads to cardiac arrest. V-Tach is defined as a rapid heartbeat in which the heart beats in excess of 100 bpm and generally is in the 110 to 250 bpm range.
The AED is designed to be easy to use and its use is taught in most first aid, first responder, CPR and basic life support classes. At the press of a button, the device sends and electrical shock that stops the arrhythmia allowing the heart to reestablish and effective heartbeat.
Time is important in the event of a cardiac event, if left untreated, irreversible brain or tissue damage occurs within three to five minutes.