AED chances rise for Tehachapi school district

Posted at 11:42 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 02:42:12-05

They could save your child's life, so why aren't defibrillators in every school?

Parents in Tehachapi had similar concerns and voiced them at a meeting tonight.

Tonight parents, teachers and even former board members left the meeting with a sense of relief, knowing that the school board now has a plan on how to move forward with their research.

According to the sudden cardiac arrest foundation, more than 350,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest and that 5,000-10,000 of those are children. 

It's also estimated that one in every 500 children have an undetected heart condition that may lead to cardiac arrest.

But kern county EMS Battalion Chief Steve Pendergrass says having an AED readily available greatly increases the chance of survival even if the user is untrained.

“It's not going to take a whole lot, as we just saw to get someone to physically actually be able to use it,” said Pendergrass.

And while the Tehachapi school district hasn't had a need for this device, Kim and Ryan Grimes say instances such as one that happened at Garces Memorial High School last fall leave a lasting impact.

“Really too close to home and that's kind of what spurred us to get going. What's so disappointing with it is that it could have been prevented,” said Kim Grimes.

“I think that everyone realizes that it's something that is a good thing, it's something that's good for everybody. I don't think anyone would question that,” said Grimes.

Both being teachers in the district, Kim and Ryan decided to take it upon themselves to push forward with this plan, hoping that tonight's presentation would sway the board's opinion.

Just looking at overall that we need to be proactive in what we do. So many times it seems like we react to a bad situation,” said Grimes. And they see those units on the wall and they feel like OK this campus is proactive.”

But the highlight of the presentation was when 11-year-old Mia performed a lifesaving demonstration without any previous training.

“We have to have these to support the kids to keep them safe. To support the staff so that we aren't there in a situation and we don't have resources. We need the resources to keep them safe,” said Grimes.

While no major decision was made at tonight's meeting, many Tehachapi residents will sleep better knowing that the necessary research is being done, that could one day save a life.