A new effort in Vermont is aimed at helping more people survive medical emergencies.
Richmond Rescue is now loaning out an automated external defibrillator, or AED, free of charge to members of the public.
The squad believes it’s the first in the state to make a portable device available for people to have on-hand at large events such as weddings, craft fairs, concerts, or on sports fields—where a paramedic may not be present.
The program’s creator told necn the AED could be the difference between a tragedy and a successful outcome, if someone has a heart attack at an event and there are people nearby ready to help with the proper tools.
“There’s no way to know when and where a cardiac arrest will happen,” said paramedic Sarah Lamb of Richmond Rescue. “So, we hope people are going to sign it out and never need to use it, but we want them to have it in case they do.”
Lamb said Richmond Rescue will let anyone age 18 and up borrow the tool. They must be CPR-certified and pledge to stay sober during the event.
If they’re not CPR-certified, the paramedics will offer training at a discount.
Lamb said people requesting to borrow the AED must give at least one week’s notice. If multiple requests come in for the same date, priority will be given to the event with the most potential need—namely, the number of attendees.