Gift of life

Hamilton Co. Sheriffs Office given new AED equipment

—Submitted photo Shelby Kroona, Hamilton County Public Health Administrator, is pictured above with Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons Tuesday morning. Hamilton Public Health donated four Automated External Defibrillators to the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office.

Hamilton County Public Health donated four automated external defibrillators to the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office Tuesday morning at the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors meeting. The AED’s were purchased by Hamilton Public Health with a Emergency Preparedness Grant. The defibrillators cost nearly $7,000.

“We saw an opportunity to use these funds to help equip the sheriffs office with AEDs for first response circumstances involving heart attacks,” Shelby Kroona, Hamilton County Public Health Administrator. “This is a great way to help the community and the county be prepared for different emergencies.”

According to the American Heart Association, an AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular heart rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest.

“Minutes are crucial,” said Kroona.

The Hamilton County Sheriffs Office already had two AED machines prior to the donation. With the number of machines at the sheriffs’ disposal now tripled, Hamilton Country Sheriff Doug Timmons is excited about the benefits of the added AEDs.

“With us being first on the scene of an accident, we can render aid faster and provide a better chance for success,” Timmons said. “The quicker access, the better rate of success.”

According to statistics provided by the American Red Cross, the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is eight to 12 minutes. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by approximately ten percent.

All staff at the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office is trained and certified for use of the machine as well as CPR and first-aid, according to Timmons.

“The addition of these AEDs is another tool in our arsenal to better serve Hamilton County,” said Timmons.

Four of the machines will be put in officers’ vehicles. The fifth machine will be placed in the Hamilton County Courthouse.