Foundation donates defibrillators to school
The Jefferson County Health Center Foundation has donated two automatic external defibrillators to the Fairfield school district.
A defibrillator is a device to jump-start a heart that has stopped beating. The models the foundation is giving the school verbally walks the user through how to place the electrode pads on the unresponsive person’s chest.
Fairfield school nurse Mary Hill wrote the grant to the foundation for the two defibrillators.
“With the push of a button, this machine assesses if there is a heartbeat,” she said. “It will tell you when to do CPR, if necessary. It will also give an electric shock to the heart if there was no heartbeat monitored.”
This new model of defibrillator is so easy to use that a member of the general public can become a lifesaver.
“Minutes are crucial and this machine can make a very grave situation better if you were waiting for paramedics to respond,” Hill said. “When the paramedics arrive, they in turn take the AED and transport it with the patient to the emergency room.”
The two defibrillators are worth $3,000. One will go to the Administration/Curriculum/Technology Center, and the other will go to the Lincoln Center.
Mike Sellers, education assistant at the health center, said the school is taking a giant leap forward with the acquisition of the two defibrillators. He said it complements the school’s advances in teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Fairfield High School principal Brian Stone said the high school has a defibrillator, but it’s an old model. He described the foundation’s gift as “spectacular” and said the school is appreciative of the foundation’s generosity.
“This will be very beneficial for our students, parents and fans,” Stone said. “It might save someone’s life.”
Sellers said defibrillators were first made available to the public in the 1980s, and at that time they cost between $8,000-$10,000. Now they are less than a quarter of the price.
Foundation secretary/treasurer Jane Adam said the organization voted to award the defibrillators to the school after reading a letter from Hill at the last meeting.
The defibrillators are the most recent of many donations the foundation has awarded over the years. It has donated hematology equipment, colonoscopy and at-home infusion equipment, cardiac rehabilitation cards and provided JCHC van maintenance and diabetes education.