WhidbeyHealth EMS Grants another Life-Saving AED to Whidbey Island Schools
Oak Harbor – Roger Meyers, Manager of WhidbeyHealth EMS, was approached by Oak Harbor High School’s Athletic Department about the possibility of being granted a life-saving Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Jerrod Fleury, Athletic Director for OHHS, was looking for an additional AED that could be used for teams traveling off-campus for sport’s activities. Roger said, “That’s a great idea; we’d be happy to help!”
And for good reason. Undiagnosed heart disease in otherwise “apparently healthy” kids accounts for the number one killer, unnecessarily, of school-aged athletes. One in two-hundred-fifty kids screened are found to have an undiagnosed cardiac condition that requires follow-up.
And because they are young and athletic, our youth athletes, in sudden cardiac arrest, don’t get the immediate life-saving CPR, 911, and an AED that they desperately need.
“Many adults don’t recognize cardiac arrest when a kid collapses,” Darla Varrenti of the Nick of Time Foundation says. “They stand by and watch when what they should be doing is starting CPR, having someone call 911, and finding an AED. Young people don’t have to die doing something they love when three simple steps can be used to increase survival from out-of-hospital SCA.”
“Just like we are trained to look for a second exit in a building or the nearest fire extinguisher, we are now training people to look for the closest AED and hemorrhage-control first aid equipment,” says Robert May, Lead Paramedic/Public Education Coordinator for WhidbeyHealth EMS. “And because there are more and more AED’s being placed, then there are more chances you will find what you are looking for.”
“For those instances when there is no AED’s in a sport’s complex, then the next best option is to have one travel with the team.”
“Nick of Time Foundation appreciates our partnership with WhidbeyHealth EMS. We share a common goal of saving lives by preventing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in children and young adults. We accomplish this by working together to increase awareness and education about SCA and how it affects young people every day in our communities,” say’s Darla Varrenti.
To accomplish our goal of decreasing unnecessary death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest for children and adults, we will continue to grant AED’s to organizations and communities up and down Whidbey Island.
Of course, “just” having an AED is useless if a person isn’t trained in what sudden cardiac arrest looks like, how to access 911, how to perform “hands-only CPR,” and how to use an AED.
If you are interested in taking a free, one hour, virtual training to learn how to save a life from three easily corrected life-threatening emergencies, please contact WhidbeyHealth EMS at 360-914-3171 to sign up for “ACT” which stands for “Antidote (Narcan), Cpr, and Tourniquet” training.