Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville Firefighters Association yesterday donated a $1,500 Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 Plus Automated External Defibrillator (AED), along with a special alarm equipped enclosure to the City of Clarksville’s Department of Parks & Recreation for installation in Heritage Park. Mayor Kim McMillian, Clarksville Parks and Recreation Director Mark Tummons, and Deputy Director Kevin Cowling accepted the device from the Clarksville Association of Firefighters president David Kirkland and Treasurer Donnie Kazee; on behalf of the city .
This particular AED was chosen by the Clarksville Firefighters Association, because it accepts special pediatric defibrillation pads which cause the device to deliver a safer reduced charge when used on children up to 8 years old or up to 55 pounds body weight; a Long-Life lithium battery with a 4-year replacement guarantee, and a 7 Year Warranty on the device.
Local 3180 President David Kirkland began the presentation with a few remarks.
Through our research we found out that Heritage Park did not have an AED, and as we all know any of us that have spent any time with kids and soccer, there can be 2,000-4,000 people out there on any given weekend. With the age of the people out there we decided it would be a good idea to have a AED on site. We decided as members of local 3180 that we would put it together, and so found one from a company out of Brentwood, TN. They got us a real good deal on it, and we are proud to present this to the City.
CPR is something that everybody needs to learn, but With that being said having an AED on hand increases your chances of survival by up to 65% over conventional CPR when you have a cardiac emergency. Like 3 or 4 months ago the one of the AEDs at the YMCA was used to resuscitate a man, and he is still with us today. These things do work. We are going to present you with the mounting bracket, the box, and the AED. I hope you never have to use it, but if you do we want it to be be there.
Mayor McMillan gladly accepted the gift on behalf of the City of Clarksville.
Thank you so much, you don’t know how much we appreciate it. We know the life saving benefits of these devices and having one on site at heritage park will certainly offer a great benefit to all of the citizens of Clarksville-Montgomery County. While I agree with you I hope we don’t have to use it, it is certainly nice to have it there as some added insurance in case we do need it. So thank you for thinking of the City of Clarksville, and I know that Parks and Recreation greatly appreciates it, and we will get it right up!
The gift of the AED to the city of Clarksville was made possible by the Clarksville Firefighter Association’s Concert Series, and is something they hope to repeat each year. The next concert is scheduled for October and will feature John Michael Montgomery and Buddy Covington in Nashville. “We hope to be able to do this every year in needed places. If the ticket sales are strong and the public supports us, you will be seeing us next year,” said Kirkland. If the sales of tickets for their concert brings in enough money, the fire fighter association hopes to expand their AED program next year.
Kevin Cowling the Deputy Director of the Clarksville Department of Parks and Recreation was appreciative of the Gift being given by the Clarksville Firefighters Association.
Any time you have the amount of people like we do at Heritage Park, having an AED on hand will help us stay prepared for any emergency. Like they said, minutes count, seconds count, and this is something that will help in a cardiac emergency until the first responders arrive on site.
Local 3180 has been in existence since 1988. Through the years they have provided support to a number of community organizations including Youth Atletics; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee; and Camp Rainbow. “What we do for a living is we save lives, save property; that is what our job is, that’s what we are charged to do. Devices like this are proven to save lives. Anything we can do to help the public that is what we are there for.”
The Clarksville Firefighters Association is currently planning to hold a smoke detector giveaway in the fall, “for people that maybe don’t have the money to go out and buy one. We just haven’t set the time or place for that yet.” said Kirkland. These philanthropic projects are a good fit for the Clarksville Firefighters Association, “When we are looking for projects we as an organization want to undertake, we look for those that help people to be safe, and live good lives.”
Mayor McMillan said, “We do everything we can as a city to ensure that the health and safety of the citizens of Clarksville is top on the list of priorities; This was a chance where we, the Fire Department, and Members of Local 3180 could work together to insure that the health and safety of Clarksville citizens was looked after.”
What Is an Automated External Defibrillator?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Ninety-five percent of people who have SCA die from it—most within minutes. Rapid treatment of SCA with an AED can be lifesaving.Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person’s life.
The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As the signal travels, it causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat.
Problems with the electrical system can cause abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop pumping blood to the body. These arrhythmias cause SCA.
The most common cause of SCA is an arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation (v-fib). In v-fib, the ventricles (the heart’s lower chambers) don’t beat normally. Instead, they quiver very rapidly and irregularly. Another arrhythmia that can lead to SCA is ventricular tachycardia (TAK-ih-KAR-de-ah). This is a fast, regular beating of the ventricles that may last for only a few seconds or for much longer.
In people who have either of these arrhythmias, an electric shock from an AED can restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on someone having SCA also can improve his or her chance of survival. AEDs are lightweight, battery-operated, portable devices that are easy to use. Each unit comes with instructions, and the device will even give you voice prompts to let you know if and when you should send a shock to the heart. Learning how to use an AED and taking a CPR course are helpful. However, if trained personnel aren’t available, untrained people also can use an AED to help save someone’s life.
What Are the Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
If someone is having SCA, you may see him or her suddenly collapse and pass out. Or, you may find the person unconscious and unable to respond when you call or shake him or her.
The person may not be breathing, or he or she may have an abnormal breathing pattern. If you check, you usually can’t find a pulse. The person’s skin may become dark or blue from lack of oxygen. Also, the person may not move, or his or her movements may look like a seizure (spasms).
If you see a person suddenly collapse and pass out, or if you find a person already unconscious, confirm that the person can’t respond. Shout at and shake the person to make sure he or she isn’t sleeping.
Never shake an infant or young child. Instead, you can pinch the child to try to wake him or her up.
Call 9–1–1 or have someone else call 9–1–1. If two rescuers are present, one can provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) while the other calls 9–1–1 and gets the AED.
Check the person’s breathing and pulse. If breathing and pulse are absent or irregular, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible. (SCA causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.)
If no one knows how long the person has been unconscious, or if an AED isn’t readily available, do 2 minutes of CPR. Then use the AED (if you have one) to check the person.
After you use the AED, or if you don’t have an AED, give CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Try to limit pauses in CPR.
After 2 minutes of CPR, you can use the AED again to check the person’s heart rhythm and give another shock, if needed. If a shock isn’t needed, continue CPR.
Using an Automated External Defibrillator
AEDs are user-friendly devices that untrained bystanders can use to save the life of someone having SCA.
Before using an AED, check for puddles or water near the person who is unconscious. Move him or her to a dry area, and stay away from wetness when delivering shocks (water conducts electricity).
Turn on the AED’s power. The device will give you step-by-step instructions. You’ll hear voice prompts and see prompts on a screen.
Expose the person’s chest. If the person’s chest is wet, dry it. AEDs have sticky pads with sensors called electrodes. Apply the pads to the person’s chest as pictured on the AED’s instructions.
Place one pad on the right center of the person’s chest above the nipple. Place the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the ribcage.
The image shows a typical setup using an automated external defibrillator (AED). The AED has step-by-step instructions and voice prompts that enable an untrained bystander to correctly use the machine.
Make sure the sticky pads have good connection with the skin. If the connection isn’t good, the machine may repeat the phrase “check electrodes.”
If the person has a lot of chest hair, you may have to trim it. (AEDs usually come with a kit that includes scissors and/or a razor.) If the person is wearing a medication patch that’s in the way, remove it and clean the medicine from the skin before applying the sticky pads.
Remove metal necklaces and underwire bras. The metal may conduct electricity and cause burns. You can cut the center of the bra and pull it away from the skin.
Check the person for implanted medical devices, such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator. (The outline of these devices is visible under the skin on the chest or abdomen, and the person may be wearing a medical alert bracelet.) Also check for body piercings.
Move the defibrillator pads at least 1 inch away from implanted devices or piercings so the electric current can flow freely between the pads.
Check that the wires from the electrodes are connected to the AED. Make sure no one is touching the person, and then press the AED’s “analyze” button. Stay clear while the machine checks the person’s heart rhythm.
If a shock is needed, the AED will let you know when to deliver it. Stand clear of the person and make sure others are clear before you push the AED’s “shock” button.
Start or resume CPR until emergency medical help arrives or until the person begins to move. Stay with the person until medical help arrives, and report all of the information you know about what has happened.
How to use the Cardiac Science AED to save a life
Editor’s note: Some information provided by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.