AEDs First responders pushing for more AEDs in public places to save lives

First responders are pushing for more training and access to AEDs which stands for Automated External Defibrillators. (WSYX/WTTE)

More than 350,000 people will suffer from cardiac arrest this year according to the American Red Cross. That is why some first responders are pushing for more training and access to AEDs which stands for Automated External Defibrillators.

At St. Charles High School, teacher Jim Pena said he had a heart attack and collapsed in the middle of his classroom. Students called 911 and ran to get the school nurse. Midget Cull said she grabbed the A E D located in the hall outside her office and started to operate the tool she had been trained on, but never had used before on an actual person.

“You have the ability to save someone's life,” said Cull, who relied on her training to get her through the ordeal. “We know what to do , not because I had to really think about it but just adrenaline rush from the emergency situation and things just kind of kick in.”

“From what I understand, the type of thing i had,without the AED machine I wouldn't have survived anyway because my heart had stopped beating,” said Pena, who is now an advocate of the device. “It's not anything to be afraid of.

I would think if you were able to use one in the proper way and save someone's life, the rest of your life is like Christmas, or a gift to you.”

Columbus Fire Department’s Robert Kelley teaches paramedics how to use the AEDs. Kelley said the device is designed for people 12 and older.

“Push the on button the AED walks you through step by step of what you need to do,” said Kelley.

Kelley suggests people take a training class, but said it’s easy enough that people could try to use the device in an emergency.

“It's always better to try to help somebody else in need. For every minute that CPR is not done to somebody in sudden cardiac arrest , they have a ten percent less chance of survival.I would like to see all public buildings , restaurants have an AED available.”

CFD holds classes for the public on how to use AEDs.

“Any time that you can get your hands on the equipment that you can practice something ahead of time will make the situation a little less nerve wracking for you,” said Kelley. “It can mean the difference between life and death.”

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