A longtime teacher slumps in his chair. Students go running to call for help. Another teacher or administrator at the school grabs the AED (Automatic External Defribillator) and runs to the room where the teacher is not breathing. With help from others, they lay the teacher on his back carefully and open his shirt.
They open the AED and put what looks like a pad on his chest and then they press a button.
Just like that, the stricken teacher starts breathing. His heart has been started again by the electrical charge from the AED.
A life has been saved.
This exact scenario is repeated many, many time a year all over the nation.
Without the AED, there is virtually no chance of survival for some with heart difficulties.
Not so in Chelsea.
Because of the hard work of Ken Webber and the Rotary Department, Captain Ed McGarry of the Chelsea Fire Department and because of the generosity of Burdick Cardiac Science Criticare, Chelsea High School, City Hall, the Williams, Clark, Burke, and Shurtleff schools, the Senior Center and the Police Station have all been outfitted with AEDs.
“The goal is to increase the chances of survivability during cardiac arrest. These units are programmed with voice prompts to coach those untrained in how to use the AED. These are the same units used by the fire department,” said Captain McGarry.
Matt Deyo, an AED specialist with Cardiac Science said this was a good thing for the city. And he praised Rotary President Webber.
“This is all about answering an emergency call. The AEDs are like a first line of defense,” he added.
Rotary Club President Webber, himself trained in CPR and First Aid, said he was proud the Rotary Club made contributions that allowed for the purchase of the AEDs from Cardiac Science. Cardiac Science also enabled the entire program of outfitting the city by selling the units at prices the Rotary Club could afford.
Ultimately, these 11 AEDs will be augmented by AEDs that will be placed in public buildings throughout the city as part of the Chelsea Heart Safe Program begun by former Chelsea Fire Department Chief Dave LaFond.