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  1. #1
    Super Star Member txdon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Central Texas
    Kubota L5030HST, Hustler FasTrak

    Default AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    Our small rural fire department is looking into buying an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). We currently do not do EMS and are not trained as first responders.

    After doing some reading about them the maximum time frame that they must be initiated, with CPR already started is 8 minutes. We are really spaced far apart and even with the closest person responding (from home and awake) I doubt if he could be on location in less than 10 minutes. Our normal response time is 15-20 minutes.

    Several questions:
    1. With this type of response time would it be useless buying one?
    2. Is anyone a member of a rural Volunteer FD that has an AED and has used it?
    3. If one has been used, what is the time frame in which it was used. and was the life saved?

    Any information or experience is appreciated,
    Thanks, Don

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Dr Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    sioux city, ia
    Oliver 1855, Case 1840, Cub 1550

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    I work for a utility company, all of our trucks have one, and all buidings have one. We are trained by the Red Cross, fortunatly we have not had to use them.

    I think it would be a wise investment, it may save one of your own.


  3. #3
    Platinum Member terry.dinerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    "The Old Goat Ranch" Grimes County, Texas
    1990 - JD 870

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments


    I have been a Paramedic and Firefighter for 35 years, specializing in remote or hostile locations and long transports.

    I have watched defibrillators go from suitcase sized monsters to the recent technological marvels and used both the full-feature multi-function monitor-defibrillators with all the bells and whistles to the Public Access models designed to hang in a wall box at the local Big Box store

    They are Good Things....

    If your department can fund the device and support the continuing maintenance and training, I would certainly put a Public Access type of AED on your truck.

    These are the simplest and least expensive.

    But as you noted, you may not be able to reach your typical client who requires defibrillation in enough time to make a difference, as every minute delay after cardiac arrest reduces survival rates by 10%....

    Under the best circumstances, in my small suburban city, with a full-time EMS service, even if the event is witnessed, it takes a minimum of a minute to call 911, one or two minutes for the Dispatcher to process and broadcast of the alarm, one or two minutes to deploy a truck, up to 5 or so minutes travel time....if there is a significant delay in recognising the arrest event the response times spiral upward....

    If the Client is without a pulse or respiration's by the time you get to them, the likelihood of restoring them to life is pretty dim, AED or no....

    However....if they still have a pulse when you arrive, and then lose it, you have a pretty good chance at restoring it with early defibrillation and CPR.

    In addition, having an AED on the fire-ground or extrication scene is another GOOD THING....a Firefighter or Client contacting a live electrical line and going into cardiac arrest or going into a cardiac crisis after inhaling smoke or fumes come to mind as potential users

    I would suggest you check around your area for Fire/EMS/PD departments already deploying AED' may be able to combine your programs and get a better price on the equipment, better access to training etc....I would also recommend having oxygen available as well.

    Good luck with this project, and...

    Be Safe Out There

    "...As I get older, I find that any day in which my gratitude exceeds my expectations is a good day..."

    ----- Ray Wylie Hubbard, musician

  4. #4
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    southern Ohio
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    However....if they still have a pulse when you arrive, and then lose it, you have a pretty good chance at restoring it with early defibrillation and CPR.
    I am many years out of VFD/EMS service but I think Terry hit the key there. CPR and devices like these are good when the person's heart stops after you arrive. If it stops before 911 is called, the chances are between slim and none.

    OTOH, it can be invaluable if one of your firefighters has a heart attack on the scene.


  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Shingle Springs California
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    The local departments around here have them. Although I volunteer in a larger district with a both paid and volunteer staff, there are small districts, some with only one fire house and all volunteer.

    There is a lot of rural area around here, so even a district like mine, with AED on every engine, some times have very extended response times.

    I'm BLS CPR instructor; the use(and training) of the new AED's is pretty simple, and the prices have certainly come down. I would recommend the training at a minimum; even if you do not have an AED, the responding Medic should. You might need to do CPR, and help with the AED when they arrive. Or you might be involved during a mutual aid to another area.

    If a person needs CPR, they are basically gone. Anything you can to to help get them back is good. An AED is good. Even for the expense with tight budgets.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Bethel, Vermont
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    These units aren't that expensive...and if one lives in a rural area, I'd say it's a worthwhile investment: Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator (AED): Health & Personal Care

    I had a heart attack. Mine was due to an arrhythmia and my heart didn't stop. Got a pacemaker now.
    When we can swing one of these, we'll buy one.
    Roy Jackson

    "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch..."

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Vancouver Wa.
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    Never a user nor ever had the need but was a long time designer of Defibs. When I first noted this thread the brand that came to mind was HeartStart. They are one of the pioneers in this field. You have received some good advise from several here. There are people in your community that could benefit from both the FD and PD having these devises available. How many peoples lives need to be saved to justify a thousand dollar expenditure? Yes there are some ongoing expenses and need for training but again how many lives need to be saved.

    HeartStart was a relative new CO when I retired. Was formed by former employees of the 2 largest Defib mfgrs. Co was bought out by HP shortly before the Co split and afterwards the med div sold to Phillips. Think I was fortunate to retire just before HP split.

    Hope you and the members of the local FD & PD doesn't have too hard of a time selling this expense to those that control the purse strings but I bet it wouldn't be hard to sell the community. Good luck on the expenditure. I know the lives you can save will ever be appreciative.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    nicholson, pa
    John Deer 318

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    We have them in both our schools (hs and elementary) and were trained in using them and cpr. I have never had to use cpr, but I have helped out at a few emergencies. I feel this could be used by anyone during an emergency and also help out a person who is exhausted doing cpr.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    JD 4700

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    For the last several CPR certification cycles we have been trained on the use of AEDs.

    The AED might not help much if your response time is 20 minutes to a call with a heart attack. However, that AED could be a literal lifesaver at other calls such as incidents/accident with traffic, tractors, fires, chainsaws, livestock, etc. A victim could still be alive once the responders arrive but then die. The AED would be critical at that moment and AED's are pretty cheap. At the recertification I had this year, they said the AED were $1200-1500ish. It only takes one save for that AED to be priceless.

    AED's are pretty idiot proof as well. After all, I can use one, so there is your proof. Training certainly helps but AEDs are designed to be used by the public with no training. I noticed years ago that Disney World has installed AED's all over the place. I don't think you can be 60-120 seconds from an AED at WDWs. Now, the odds are that someone falling out at WDW will immediately have trained help, so the lay person would not have to use an AED, but if they had too, those devices are available and easy to use. They are almost as plentiful as Mouse Ears.

    I would think that a rural department could raise the money for a few AED's pretty easily. At least I would hope so.


  10. #10
    Platinum Member CBW1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Northern Vermont on the 45th parallel
    Kubota 7510, Toro Groundsmaster 217D

    Default Re: AED Automated External Defibrillator and Rural Fire Departments

    Adding to terry.dinerman-

    I have 22+years of EMS experience 16 career in a service that covered 55 square miles with lots of response time considerations. On average, I was on 16 arrests per year. I was also responsible for basic and advanced training. That being said-

    Every fire department received an AED through the federal grant program several years back. This was to attempt reducing the arrival time of the AED. One of the most common statements had to do with the "down time" and why bother.

    The most important thing is never assume. Unless there are definitive signs that they have been dead a while (rigor, decomp). It should be assumed that their heart only stopped on your arrival and they still have the greatest chance of survival. Any attempts should be made at trying to revive them.

    To be blunt, I had reviewed more than one half-a**ed attempt at resuscitation because the general attitude was "their gone, we're only doing it because we have to". Every patient (and family) deserves an appropriate attempt to save their life.

    The best chance of survival is based on CPR as soon as possible, Defibrillation as needed and access to the care that will fix the cause. The physical location, response time or time to hospital should NEVER be used as the determination to begin a resuscitation.

    Cheap to buy nowadays, compact (anyone remember the lifepak33 "suitcase"). No real reason not to have one.
    I thank God everyday for all of the blessings he has given me- especially for the one's I do not recognize or see!

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