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AED donation

AED donation

Lifelong Kernersville resident and longtime alderman Joe Pinnix and his wife, Kay, recently made a donation to the Kernersville Police Department (KPD) that may help save lives in the future.
“Alderman Joe Pinnix, Jr. and his wife, Kay, donated four automated external defibrillators (AED) to the Kernersville Police Department. With the donation of the AEDs, our hope is to start rendering emergency aid to patients without delay. Kay Pinnix and I discussed how easy the operation of an AED with the voice prompts walking the user through the administration of the AED on the patient,” said KPD Sgt. Nicole Smith, Special Operations Division/Personnel & Training/Community Engagement.
An AED is a lightweight, portable device. It delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart when it detects an abnormal rhythm and changes the rhythm back to normal. AEDs help people who have a sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating regularly. This happens when the heart’s natural electrical system doesn’t work correctly. If not treated within minutes, cardiac arrest quickly leads to death.
Pinnix’s motivation was both personal and was for the best interest of the community.
“There were several reasons. Both of our fathers died from cardiac arrest years ago. Kay’s daddy was at home. My father passed away when we had just opened the drug store. It was just him and me together. You don’t get something like that out of your mind,” Pinnix said. “Back then, no one had heard of an AED and they weren’t available. The technology now is just so amazing. I guess what solidified it was we were watching a Monday night football game in January and a Buffalo Bills player (Damar Hamlin) just collapsed on the field. They rushed down field and saved his life with an AED. He actually died and they brought him back to life with that. When I was talking to Tim Summers (the Former KPD Chief), he said the software changes, just like it does with computers, so rapidly that their AEDs were out of date and they could use some more up to date. The EMS and fire departments are often first to a scene and their AEDs were up to date. But Summers and Chief Tilley told me that a lot of times they arrive before the firemen and every minute counts. Every minute that goes by you lose a 10% chance of surviving. I started reading about them and they have saved so many lives. If you are on the scene with one, you don’t have to wait one. The AEDs Kay and I got are the latest ones and they (the KPD) will have all of their officers have training on them. We have always been big supporters of the KPD. Kernersville is so fortunate to have a police department like we have. They are wonderful men and women. It has always been this way. I told the KPD I hope you never have to use these AEDs, but if you do and it saves one life it is worth having.”
AEDs do save lives. A person’s chance of surviving drops by 7% to 10% every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored. Immediately beginning CPR and AED use can double or triple the person’s chance of survival. CPR combined with using an AED provides the best chance of saving a life.
Smith said changes in the communication system could result in the KPD getting to a scene first where somebody needs help more frequently.
“We were not getting to the calls as fast as they (EMS and Fire & Rescue) were. Now a call goes to Fire & Rescue and EMS and they notify us right away. Now we know within 30 seconds. Especially if we have officers available, we can get there quickly. Officers are out and about covering more ground. We have not had to administer an AED because at that point, we were not finding out at the appropriate time. It was one of those kinds of equipment we had never had to use, but now we are available to do it. The AEDs will definitely be a benefit in those times,” Smith said.
KPD Cpt. Damien Marotz said the KPD has four shifts and AEDs are available for all of them.
“One of them is dedicated to the patrol division, which was very helpful because you don’t know when you will need it,” Marotz said.
AEDs are not just useful for police, EMS and Fire & Rescue. AEDs may be available in public or private locations where large numbers of people gather. Smith stated that most churches in town have them, large businesses have them, and the schools have them. Smith recommended for anybody that has a pool to have an AED and recommended for community pools to have one. AEDs are also recommended for households of individuals with heart issues. Pinnix said he had ordered another AED for the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, which often has large events with many people.
AEDs are intended for use by anyone in the general public. Upon opening an AED, the AED will talk to the user providing voice prompts during the process. Non-medical personnel, such as police, firefighters, flight attendants and security guards, are trained to use AEDs. Other people who have been trained in CPR also can use them. Although formal AED training isn’t required, it’s recommended to help you increase your level of confidence using it. AEDs are very accurate in detecting when (or when not) to deliver a shock.
“It is voice prompted. It will tell you to apply the AED pad. The instrument talks to you and until you move to the next step, it will repeat it. Some AEDs have more stages than others and some may combine two steps into one, but they are all administered the same way. They all work and should work the same way,” Smith concluded.

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