The Carrier Mills Police Department is in the process of equipping each of the three squad cars with an AED or automatic external defibrillator.
The village board has approved the purchase of four of these devices and two have been delivered, one placed in the village municipal building and the second in Sgt. Bill Duncan's patrol car. Duncan recently discussed the devices with The Daily Register, stating that the devices were a great benefit to the community.
“They (the AED's) are simple to use and can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency,” Duncan said.
At this time, Duncan is the only village officer to have completed the required training in use of the AED's, though Duncan stated that Chief Rubright and Officer Brinkley would be completing the training through a course organized by village board members Tracy Felty and David Kyle in the near future. Duncan explained that the AED's gave verbal instructions to the user and were “idiot proof” to use. The units Carrier Mills will be using come equipped with a set of shock pads for adults and a set for children and infants.
Simple visual diagrams on the AED unit show the user where and how to place the shock pads and once in place, the AED takes over and assesses the patient. The device will not shock the patient unless it detects a situation where the patient has no heartbeat or is in fibrillation — dangerously irregular heartbeat. If a shock has to be applied the device with give an audible indication of the fact and a verbal warning to stand clear of physical contact with the patient. If the first shock is successful the device gives and audible indication of that, if unsuccessful the device instructs responders to continue another round of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in preparation of delivering a second shock and continues to assess the patient.
Duncan feels that the benefit of having these devices available for use in the village cannot be overstated. Citing a recent incident at the Carrier Mills American Legion where a patron had a heart attack, Duncan said that the use of an AED that board member Tracy Felty carried in his personal vehicle was literally the only thing that saved a life.
“We shocked him five times, and the fifth started his heart,” Duncan said.
Duncan feels that that incident was probably the main motivating factor in the village board's decision to approve purchasing AED's for the village.