The Washington Township Fire Department will now be better prepared to handle cardiac emergencies on the spot thanks to the donation of an AED from LifeSavers, Inc. Bob Stickel, the company's president and a township resident, said his family donated the AED "in honor of our dedicated firefighters."
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one cause of death of on-duty firefighters in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
"Firefighters go from being relaxed, then all of sudden go into a life and death situation where they are putting there life on the line to help someone else," Stickel said.
Each year 383,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest before they reach a hospital. Bystanders or emergency personnel can save many of these lives using CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
An AED is an emergency medical device that delivers an electrical charge to a patient who is experiencing a life-threatening, abnormal heart rhythm or sudden cardiac arrest. The device, which “speaks” to the user to provide step-by-step instructions, automatically diagnoses the heart rhythm to determine if a shock is needed. The pre-set electrical charge administered by the device occurs only if a fatal arrhythmia is detected, eliminating the need for the user to make the decision to defibrillate
Having defibrillation on-site with an AED increases survival rates for ventricular fibrillation (VF) cardiac arrest to as high as 74 percent, compared to just 5 percent if the place has no AED program, according to the American Heart Association.
Editor's note: This info was supplied by Jeff Siconolfi on behalf of the Washington Township Fire Department.