Hall Ambulance Service will wrap up its quest to place an automated external defibrillator (AED) in each of the council chambers located within the Company’s 9-1-1 response area—thus improving access to the lifesaving devices in public places.
The effort started back in July with Hall Ambulance donating AEDs to the Arvin, California City, Maricopa, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, and Wasco city councils, as well as to the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in a patient and can shock the heart back into a healthy rhythm. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson. An AED can make a dramatic difference when used in the first few minutes of someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest, prior to the arrival of ambulance paramedics and public safety personnel.
The device is an important tool in the chain of survival which includes recognizing a medical emergency, calling 9-1-1, and initiating CPR in conjunction with an AED, until EMS arrives.
“As the 9-1-1 paramedic provider for nearly 90% of Kern County, we have witnessed firsthand the difference early CPR and defibrillation by an AED can make,” said Harvey L. Hall. “In the past six weeks, we have celebrated “life saves” of two cardiac arrest survivors—a great grandmother, and a 19-year-old male, both of whom benefited from bystander CPR and AED use.”
To encourage increased placement of AEDs in places frequented by the public, and give civil protection to Good Samaritans who assist victims of sudden cardiac arrest, California revised its AED laws with
S.B. 658, which went into effect on January 1, 2016. “The public needs to know that they can make a positive difference for a loved one or a complete stranger stricken by cardiac arrest without fear of liability,” said Hall.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), every hour at least 38 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in the United States, which tallies up to more than 300,000 lives affected annually.
Almost 90% of those who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, with only 46% of cardiac arrest victims receiving CPR before emergency medical services arrive. Sadly, AHA believes more than 70% of American’s do not know how to perform CPR.
The donations are part of Hall Ambulance’s Community AED Outreach Program, which has previously donated AEDs to senior centers located throughout the Company’s East Kern Operations Area, which includes Boron, California City, Mojave, Rosamond, and Tehachapi, and the Dye Natatorium.
In February, Hall and his wife, Lavonne presented eight AEDs to the athletic programs at CSU Bakersfield.