Town of Berryville Police Chief Neil White hopes to deploy eight new heart defibrillation devices around town later this year. The approximately $30K in funds necessary to purchase and maintain the devices would be supplied through a federal grant that will be awarded later this year.
According to Wikipedia, defibrillation is the definitive treatment for the life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and pulseless ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart with a device called a defibrillator. This depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle, terminates the arrhythmia, and allows normal sinus rhythm to be reestablished by the body’s natural pacemaker, in the sinoatrial node of the heart.
According to White, the federal Department of Health and Human Services plans to award over $1M in grant funding in August to support increased use of automated external defibrillators (AED) in local communities.
“The grant will cover $21,600 cost of the AED’s in the first year and $2,722 for maintenance for the next two years” White said.
White said that he hopes to reduce the overall response time for a cardiac-related emergency by deploying the AED’s both in government facilities and in Berryville police cruisers.
“We had two â€˜saves’ using AED’s last year so we know that these devices save lives” White said.
“We’d like to install four of the devices in police cars, two on the second floor of the Joint Government Center, one in the town maintenance shop and another at the Barns of Rose Hill.”
White said that an AED located at the Barns not only will help with the Town’s public outreach but will also ensure that an AED is located near the public park.
Berryville Town Manager commended White for seeking ways to increase the number of AED available in the event of an emergency.
“AED’s provide an excellent benefit to our community and this grant offers a good extension of that benefit ” Dalton said. “All of our town employees are trained in the use of AED’s and cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)” Dalton said.
White said that an added benefit of the new AED’s is the compatibility and interoperability with units being used emergency medical response teams in Frederick and Loudoun counties.
“The gel packs used with these devices can easily be disconnected and attached to the more advanced life support systems used but secondary responders” White said.
White said that he expects to hear a definitive answer on the AED grant in August.