A severe storm last week canceled the local campaign at Dubois Park in Old Town Bluffton of the Arrhythmia Alliance, a local nonprofit, working alongside the Bluffton Township Fire District to launch their campaign to get AEDs installed throughout the Town of Bluffton.
AED is short for automated external defibrillator, a device that will deliver an electric shock to a heart to restart.
Samantha Horstman, program coordinator with Arrhythmia Alliance said “Our goal is to fund raise at local events, work with corporations, seek grants — all with the support of the town in hopes to place around 30 (AED) devices” she said. “This one at the park is the first official.”
The AED in Dubois Park can be found where the restrooms are located.
In December 2015, the Arrhythmia Alliance, working with the Bluffton Police Department, succeeded in placing an AED in each of the town’s patrol cars.
The group was expecting to take a year to outfit the police cars.
“We raised (the money) in about 12 weeks.” Horstman said.
The devices are not cheap.
The actual device costs about $1,600, and the cabinet is another $500.
And while Julie Kizer, CPR coordinator with the Bluffton Township Fire District, wants people to become CPR-certified, she wants those who see the AED to know the device shouldn’t be considered scary.
No training is required. The AED walks you through using it with a programmed voice.
Kizer said it’s “very important to know that once the (AED) pads are on the person, the device will determine if a shock is needed (and will tell those around to stay clear of the person). If it (AED) determines the person does not need a shock, it will not launch.”
“It’s life-saving. ... It could save someone’s life,” Kizer said.
For more information about fundraising or the placement of an AED, contact Hilary Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.