IDAHO FALLS — A nonprofit organization has donated $28,000 to a local fire department to help pay for new lifesaving equipment for people with cardiac arrest in the community.
On Wednesday, Heroes Defense presented 15 new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Idaho Falls Fire Department after purchasing them with money donated by the organization.
An AED is a wearable device that automatically analyzes life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, then delivers an electric shock to the victim to bring the heart back to a regular beat.
“We are fortunate to have a group of AEDs from Heroes Defense,” said Idaho Falls Fire Department Fire Chief Duane Nelson. “It takes many years, (it) probably wouldn’t have happened by now without their help.”
According to its website, “Heroes Defense provides support, resources, and assistance to people fighting for our freedoms and the American way of life. Heroes Defense, organized by Paul Davis and Qal-Tek Associates, defends our nation’s heroes and ensures their bravery is both recognized and rewarded.
“Heroes Defense was created for this very purpose, to show our first responders that their community truly cares and supports them in the essential tasks they do every day,” said Garrett Meikle, Founder of Heroes Defense. in a press release. “We are proud to be an intermediary between the public and these responders, to help raise funds to quickly provide the equipment, training and other resources that we desperately need.”
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The money donated to the Idaho Falls Fire Department that purchased the AEDs came from a fundraising banquet and auction held by Heroes Defense last year. In three hours, approximately $140,000 was raised.
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“We are very happy to have them. They (AEDs) have a lifespan of 10 years so we can expect them to be in the community for a full decade and that’s usually the time when the technology has improved and changed enough to that you had to turn them off,” Eric Day said. , chief of the EMS division of the Idaho Falls Fire Department.
According to a news release, the Idaho Falls Fire Department responded to 130 cardiac arrests in 2021.
“From the moment the patient is connected to the monitors of our ambulances, this information is transmitted to the hospital. This is why these new AEDs are so important; they interface seamlessly with our current monitors. We express our sincere gratitude to Heroes Defense and everyone involved in the fundraising efforts,” Day said in a press release.
An app can help community members locate an AED if needed. The PulsePoint smartphone app works in conjunction with dispatch software, alerting users of a cardiac emergency at the same time first responders are alerted. The app also tells the user where the nearest AED is.
“CPR and the use of an AED, when indicated, especially in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double a person’s chances of survival,” Day said in a statement.