STERLING – CGH Medical Center is helping Whiteside County residents to breathe a little easier with its donation of 10 defibrillators.
This week the devices are being installed in all squad cars of the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department, both county courthouses, and the county jail.
Early defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be the difference between life and death in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. It is important that the sheriff’s department has access to the automated external defibrillators – AEDs – hospital officials said.
“Quite often, law enforcement is the first to arrive on the scene,” said Dr. Paul Steinke, CGH president and CEO.
“To get life-saving tools, such as AEDs, in their hands means we are able to save more lives.”
The sheriff’s department had asked CGH for new batteries for older devices. Because there were so many different brands of varying ages, the cost of new equipment turned out to be virtually the same as new batteries.
CGH instructors Mike McAlvey and Dan Posateri also helped with training. All deputies of the county sheriff’s department, prisons, courts, mounted patrol and 911 operators are required to receive CPR/AED training.
The recertification training sessions were recently completed, and training with the new defibrillators also was given.
The uniformity the new AEDs bring can also saves time in an emergency. CGH ambulances are equipped with the same devices. When a deputy uses the device on a patient, EMTs can unplug from the squad car defibrillator and reconnect in the ambulance without having to remove the pads.
“These AEDs provide a quick disconnect that greatly enhances the initial response time for the lay person,” said Ryan Venema, CGH director of pre-hospital services. “It is a huge benefit to have this interoperated ability within the CGH EMS district.”