Santa Barbara City Fire Acquires New Defibrillators
Source: Santa Barbara City Fire Department
The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is excited to announce the delivery of twenty-five Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The AEDs were purchased with Homeland Security Grant funds and have been placed on every fire engine, ladder truck and rescue vehicle in the City. The $102,000 grant was awarded in October 2018. The new AEDs replace earlier models and incorporate the latest cardiac arrest resuscitation technology.
A key goal of the City Fire Department has been to improve cardiac arrest survival rates. Fire Department emergency medical personnel have been undergoing focused training for the last four years which has resulted in an increase in survival rates. Current medical studies found that rapid defibrillation combined with early cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are keys to patient survival.
The new AEDs will also allow the Fire Department to provide AEDs to the Santa Barbara City Police Department for use in their patrol vehicles. Police Chief Lori Luhnow said, “The defibrillators will be put to good use by our police officers in the field, especially when they arrive on these critical calls before the fire department.” City Administrator Paul Casey noted, “This resource sharing exemplifies the collaboration of all City Departments working to benefit our citizens and visitors.”
February is National Heart Awareness Month and is designed to bring awareness to the frequency and severity of heart disease in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually, nearly 90% of them fatal. Fire Chief Eric Nickel noted, “Our goal is to increase survival from cardiac arrests, and that can only be done with engaged community members, rapid public safety response, early CPR and rapid use of AEDs.”
The Fire Department encourages community members to be citizen heroes by learning Hands Only CPR, which can be learned in as little as 5 minutes. This life-saving technique can buy precious minutes for the patient while public safety crews respond to the scene.
Additionally, the Fire Department encourages community members to download the PulsePoint App. PulsePoint is an application that alerts citizens in close proximity to a cardiac arrest in a public location and the location of nearby AEDs. PulsePoint is available for Apple and Android devices.