According to Live 5 News out of Charleston, SC, emergency responders have been mapping out the placement of AED’s in the Lowcountry for a couple of years now. EMS Chief Carl Fehr says they created an AED database to make it easier when someone calls 911. Dispatchers will talk lay responders through the process of doing CPR and also let them know where they can find an AED.
Over 500 devices have been registered. however, they believe there are several that still need to be accounted for in the community. Businesses have access to register their AEDs in a database so when someone calls from that location, the dispatcher can see where the AED is placed within the building.
Back in December of 2016, Tony Butler and his teammates were playing basketball at the Mt. Pleasant town hall gym. Butler’s medical checkups have always been good, his blood pressure normal. Yet, as he puts it, “it happened.”
Butler had just wrapped up one game, and the guys playing the next court over convinced him to stay and join in.
“I was there about 5 minutes and didn’t feel right,” said Butler. “So I went and sat on the bench. And they tell me I slid onto the floor and was… was gone.”
His heart stopped. One player called 911. Someone else ran to the police station next door.
“And one of them went to the office and got the AED,” said Butler. Luckily, firefighters were at the gym by that point and could use the AED quickly. “They zapped me two or three times. The next thing I remember is being in the ambulance. Going across the bridge.”
Butler survived. He is still sore from his ribs being broken during chest compressions. He’s working on building up his basketball stamina again.
The goal is for people who witness a cardiac emergency to think not only to call 911, but to also think to grab an AED. While training helps with a rescuer’s comfort level, you don’t have to be trained.
Anyone can use an AED.
You do have to know where it is, which is why the regional registration database is so useful for someone calling 911.
“I think every business should have one,” Butler said about AEDs.