- Written by Alison Woodward Alison Woodward
- Created: 27 November 2010 27 November 2010
Your Board of Worship has been studying how to prepare the church for helping a critically ill person until emergency services can respond. Early on in our examination of what we could do to help a victim beyond normal first aid and CPR, we were interested in having an AED available at the church.
An AED, Automatic External Defibrillator, is a portable electronic device that is used to restore normal heart rhythm. However, as a board we did not have much knowledge about AEDs other than there are quite a few different models and they are relatively expensive.
We began doing research into AEDs by utilizing our contacts inside the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department and speaking with the American Red Cross. Through these two organizations we identified two different AED systems and the approximate cost for the AEDs. With this information we added an AED to the wish list for the church, and continued our research to determine which AED would be best for the church.
Looking at the features, functions, purchase cost and maintenance costs we did not find any significant difference between the models used by the American Red Cross or the emergency services. What we found out is that AEDs are easy and safe to use, and can be used on infant, youth and adult victims. A real surprise was how sophisticated AEDs have become. Since rescue breaths have been eliminated from the CPR protocol, the AED guides rescuers in performing correct chest compressions or when to use its primary function, an electrical shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
The church has received a very generous donation to purchase an AED. After much discussion, the Board of Worship decided to recommend that the Council purchase the AED used by the American Red Cross. We made this recommendation because, even though emergency services people might prefer another device, there will probably be a greater number of people familiar with the AED promoted by the American Red Cross. We plan to offer a basic first response class that will teach essential life support techniques using first aid, CPR or an AED.
Saint John’s Board of Worship and the Arts oversees the details of the congregation’s worship life.