Heartland receives new AED from IHLFJuly 5, 2017
Heartland Community College has a new automated external defibrillator (AED) thanks to a donation from the Illinois Heart & Lung Foundation (IHLF). The defibrillator was delivered on Thursday, June 29 and will be kept in the College’s campus safety and security services vehicle.
Heartland currently has 15 AEDs, two of which are located at the Pontiac and Lincoln campuses. The most recent AED will remain in the security vehicle so first responders can access it easily should they need it.
AEDs for Campus First Responders
“One of our goals is to get an AED in all first responder vehicles,” said IHLF Executive Director of Continuing Medical Education, Kathi Franklin. “They are the first ones on scene and if they have an AED in addition to administering CPR, a life is even more likely to be saved.”
“We’re incredibly appreciative of receiving an AED from the Illinois Heart & Lung Foundation,” said Kelli Hill, vice president for continuing education and advancement at Heartland. “Hopefully we’ll never have to use it, but we’re grateful our first responders will have one readily available in case we do.”
IHLF has one fundraiser every year to help station AEDs in the community. So far, the organization has invested more than $200,000 in AED placements and Heartland’s donated defibrillator is one of the latest.
Franklin and IHLF also donated AEDs for campus emergency vehicles at Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan. Franklin feels college campuses have vulnerable populations and that it’s essential for personnel to have the tools they need to respond and save lives. “Colleges are communities within themselves,” she explained. “Each day there are visitors of all ages present. You never know what might happen and this will help schools be prepared.”
Saving a Life
Franklin emphasizes that schools aren’t the only ones who should be ready to respond to emergencies. Although a cardiac event can be alarming, she wants people to know that it’s quite simple to restart a heart.
“When someone is having a cardiac emergency, it’s common for bystanders to be fearful of helping. A lot of people think they would do more harm than good, but that’s not the case.”
For AEDs in particular, Franklin describes them as “bystander friendly.” “The device gives audible instructions which makes them very easy to use because it walks you through it step by step,” she said.
To help the general public feel more comfortable helping someone in need, Franklin and IHLF encourage people to download a free app on their smartphone called PulsePoint. The app is a comprehensive registry of AEDs that works with a phone’s GPS to locate the nearest defibrillator.
IHLF also hosts a free community-wide CPR training course at Heartland every year.
Franklin says CPR and an AED need to be used together.
“In the event you encounter someone having a cardiac emergency, someone needs to dial 9-1-1 and locate the nearest AED. Meanwhile, another individual should start administering CPR immediately. This will keep blood around the heart. The AED needs blood in that area in order to work.”
Overall, Franklin emphasizes it’s important to act quickly. “The chance of restarting the heart diminishes with each passing minute. That’s why we want to ensure first responders at schools have easy access to AEDs and that the general public has knowledge and confidence to help save a life.”
To learn more about AEDs and IHLF’s upcoming fundraiser on August 26, visit the IHLF website.
Written by: Becky Gropp