Defibrillators donated to save lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Defibrillators donated to save lives

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January 19, 2007

Early County -- More than 250,000 Americans die each year because of sudden cardiac arrest, but some could be saved with prompt emergency care. An Early County group wants to make sure people get that emergency care, by donating several Automated External Defibrillators to different organizations in the county.

High school, middle, and elementary students and athletes of Early County Schools will benefit from the defibrillators because each school received one. Superintendent Betty Orange is thankful for the gifts because she knows from personal experience how the device can save lives.

"I have a greater appreciation for it. My husband had a heart attack in February of last year. It makes you realize even more how necessary it is to have them when you're involved in an emergency," said school superintendent Betty Orange.

An Automated External Defibrillators, or AED, sends a shock wave to a person's heart and can restore the rhythm to one under cardiac arrest. Now a greater number of Early Countians than before may be rescued by the technology.

Twelve organizations throughout Early County received a defibrillator. The American Heart Association says the device is key in surviving a heart attack, and that's one reason why Early County 2055 made the donations.

"It just falls into our mission statement of improving quality of life and preserving life and doing what we can to enhance the future," said Early County 2055 project manager Lisa Collins.

Early County 2055 project manager Lisa Collins says the group is dedicated to improving and revitalizing the county, and giving the gift of defibrillators may give the gift of life in an emergency.

Emergencies that high school athletes nationwide have experienced with strenuous workouts. The athletics director at Early County says they haven't dealt with a student undergoing a heart related emergency in the past, but says now they'll be ready should anything happen.

"It could save a life. You can't put a value on, if that device were to save a young person's life that got in trouble in an athletic event or a practice," said Coach Trey Woolf.

A defibrillator can improve survival rates for a person under cardiac arrest, and now several organizations in Early County are prepared.

Among the organizations to receive a defibrillator include Bainbridge College in Blakely, the Senior Citizens Center, and the Kolomoki State Park.

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