For anyone who’s ever watched a medical show on television, you’ve probably seen someone shocked back to life after suffering some sort of emergency. The device being used is called a defibrillator and it can get a person’s heart beating again should the need occur.
While these devices are common in a hospital setting, they are also widely available in everyday places like stores and restaurants via a lightweight, portable version called an automated external defibrillator, or AED.
AEDs are not just for medical personnel to use. Anyone who has a current certification can operate the device. The AMCOM Safety Office services and maintains the AEDs and coordinates training on the AED and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, lifesaving techniques.
Mike Davis, a safety and occupational health specialist in the AMCOM Safety Office, said acting quickly can be the difference between life and death.
The AED is very simple to operate and even talks you through the motions. According to Davis, it can detect a heartbeat and provides step-by-step instructions. In the absence of a heartbeat, the AED provides a shock to get the heart started, Davis said.
“Early defibrillation in the chain of survival for a person that’s in cardiac arrest, along with CPR, are key to saving a life,” Davis said.
“The quicker we can get CPR going, and then an AED on that person, their probability of survival goes up. That’s why we have an AED on every floor,” he said. AEDs are located throughout AMCOM facilities on Redstone Arsenal, as well. In the Sparkman Center, AEDs are mounted on the wall near the elevators on every floor. AEDs are also available in other AMCOM buildings and offices on Redstone Arsenal, such as Toftoy Hall building 3495, Inspector General building 3215, Judge Advocate General building 3439 and AMCOM Logistics Center buildings 3340, 3341, 3221, 3777 and 3780.
The AEDs are fully charged and ready to use whenever an emergency presents itself.
CPR and AED training takes about three hours and the certification is good for two years.
AMCOM personnel interested in CPR and AED training can contact Johnney Mason, a safety and occupational health specialist in the AMCOM Safety Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Get certified and save a life,” Davis encouraged. “You can be a hero.”
For more information on AEDs and CPR, visit the American Red Cross at https://www.redcross.org/ or the American Heart Association at https://www.heart.org/.