ADAMS CENTER, NY – FEBRUARY 10, 2019
In conjunction with American Heart Month, the Adams Center Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. is pleased to announce that it is now able to offer a Public Access Defibrillation Program. This allows the fire department to respond with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to cardiac emergencies experienced by firefighters and the public.
A Physio LifePak 500 AED was provided to the Adams Center Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. by an anonymous donor concerned about firefighter safety and possible delayed response if a firefighter were to have a heart attack while responding to or returning from a call. According to FEMA, there were 86 U.S. firefighter fatalities in 2018. Of those, 41 were volunteer firefighters. Nearly 20% of the 86 deaths were attributed to heart attack. While we are hopeful that we will never have to use this gift on one of our own, we are grateful to have the piece of mind that it is available to give our members the best chance of survival if a cardiac arrest did occur while providing service to the Adams Center Fire District.
In addition to protecting our firefighters, the AED will be available on engine 2-4-2 to respond to cardiac emergencies experienced by the public with the goal of decreasing the time until personnel skilled and trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use arrive on scene. According to the American Heart Association, 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occur in the U.S. each year. Early CPR and defibrillation are critical links in the chain of survival, and we are excited to now have both the training and equipment to be part of this chain and increase the odds of survival from sudden cardiac arrest in our community.
The South Jefferson Rescue Squad (SJRS) has assisted us with obtaining training, including new or refresher CPR training for several of our members, support through our program application process, and assistance in obtaining equipment. Our Physio LifePak 500 utilizes defibrillator pads that are compatible with those used by the South Jefferson Rescue Squad, so there can be a smooth transition to their equipment when they arrive as the transporting agency.
We are thankful for the support of Dr. James Willis of Cardiology Associates of Northern New York located in Watertown. Dr. Willis serves as our Emergency Health Care Provider providing medical oversight. We are also grateful to the support for this project shown by the Adams Center Fire District Commissioners. Winning Promotions, LLC. of Watertown graciously donated “This Vehicle is Equipped With AED” window decals for our engine.
The current AED will require replacement in approximately two years, and we are working to equip each one of our apparatus with an AED as well as the Adams Center Fire District Building. We are working on several grant proposals to assist us with costs and we have created an “I Heart Collection” in conjunction with Winning Promotions of Watertown to support operational costs of our AED program. To shop the “I Heart Collection” and support our Public Access Defibrillation Program, go to https://acfdstore2019.itemorder.com/sale by March 10, 2019 to place your order.
For more information regarding the Public Access Defibrillation Program or online store, contact 1st Assistant Chief Errin Thomas who serves as the program coordinator at (315) 783-5985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Thomas, Chief
13401 North Steet
P.O. Box 248
Adams Center, NY 13606