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Lehigh Acres Fire District donates life saving devices to the community

April 2, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Board of Fire Commissioners voted unanimously to donate two (2) surplus automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to the community. If purchased new, each unit would cost approximately $1,700.00.

The Fire District is contacted regularly by the public, several times throughout the year, inquiring about CPR classes. EMS Training Captain Martin McDowell offers these classes to the public. "Many times residents ask me how they can purchase an AED during the class," states McDowell.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder, and basic life support (BLS) level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes.

Article Photos

Michael Cook (Asst. District Manager of ECWCD) and Martin McDowell (EMS Training Captain LAFC&RD).

AEDs are designed to be used by laypersons who ideally should have received AED training. AEDs can be found in places including corporate and government offices, shopping centers, airports, airplanes, restaurants, casinos, hotels, sports stadiums, schools and universities, community centers, fitness centers, health clubs, theme parks, workplaces and any other location where people may congregate.

The location of a public access AED should take into account where large groups of people gather, regardless of age or activity. Children as well as adults may fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The East County Water Control District and the Majestic Golf Club were both planning on purchasing AEDs for their sites after receiving CPR training from the Fire District; however, they both will be the recipients of the Fire District's surplus AEDs. "When I was approached by Captain McDowell with the idea of donating these devices to the public I was on board 100%," replied Chief John Wayne. "This is a great opportunity to be able to place these units into the community, adding another layer to the public's safety prior to our arrival," added Wayne.

The Fire District offers CPR training the community at a nominal cost. If interested in scheduling a class, please call (239) 303-5300 for more information.



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