Earlier today, Heroes Defense presented 15 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the Idaho Falls Fire Department to assist with the department’s ongoing efforts to increase survival rates for individuals experiencing a cardiac event.
An AED is a portable device that automatically analyzes abnormal life-threatening heart rhythms and then delivers an electric shock to the victim to return the heart to a regular rhythm.
The $28K AED donation is a portion of the nearly $140K raised during the annual Heroes Defense 9/11 Tribute dinner and auction. Heroes Defense is a local non-profit founded and lead by personnel from two local companies, Paul Davis Restoration of Idaho and Qal-Tek.
"Heroes Defense was created for this exact purpose, to show our first responders that their community truly cares about and supports them in the critical jobs they perform every day. We are proud to be a conduit between the public and those responders, to help raise funds to quickly provide desperately needed equipment, training, and other resources,” states Garrett Meikle, CEO, Paul Davis Restoration and Founder/Board Member of Heroes Defense.
IFFD Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon explains, “Putting AEDs in all of our fire, EMS, and law enforcement vehicles is the first phase of an overarching goal to get more AEDs into the community. We also want to see them in every city facility, grocery stores, restaurants, and other public spaces.”
According to the American Heart Association, each year more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately getting CPR from someone nearby. Almost 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die.
“The staggering statistics are but one example of why first responders need equipment now, not later when budgets are adjusted to try to meet the needs of the massive growth happening in our community,” adds Meikle.
IFFD responded to 130 cardiac arrests in 2021.
“CPR and the use of an AED, when indicated, especially in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, can double a person’s chance of survival,” explains IFFD EMS Division Chief, Eric Day.
Every second matters during an emergency, especially a cardiac arrest. The EMS system must work in complete synchrony from the moment the 9-1-1 call is made, to dispatching ambulances, responding to the patient, and quickly getting the patient to the hospital. Local healthcare providers have made significant advancements over the years to refine this system, thereby improving cardiac survival rates.
“From the moment the patient is hooked up to the monitors in our ambulances, that information is being transmitted to the hospital. This is why these new AEDs are so important; they seamlessly interface with our current monitors. We extend our sincere gratitude to Heroes Defense and everybody involved in the fundraising efforts,” states Day.
In 2018, IFFD introduced the PulsePoint Smartphone App to the community. Application users who are trained in CPR and willing to assist in an emergency are notified when someone in a public space is having a cardiac emergency. PulsePoint works in conjunction with dispatching software, alerting users to a cardiac emergency at the same time first responders are alerted. The application also shows the user where the closest AED is located.
Currently, there are 1,524 active users of IFFD’s PulsePoint App. Click here or go to IFFD’s website for instructions on how to download the App and/or register the location of your organization’s AED.
Travis Snowder, CEO, Qal-Tek Associates and Heroes Defense Board Member states, “It’s such an honor to watch our community come together in support of our first responders, especially at such a time when our local teams are experiencing impacts from massive growth. This donation is just the tip of the iceberg. Plans are already underway to continue our mission of working with our first responders as they face the challenge of keeping our community safe and providing the same level of service to a rapidly growing community.”
“We invite everyone to come together and continue to show their support through other Heroes Defense events and fundraisers in the future where they can truly show we have these heroes' backs,” adds Meikle.
Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122, [email protected]