Rapid City schools have shortage of AEDs - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City schools have shortage of AEDs

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The Rapid City School District has a shortage of lifesaving equipment. 13 elementary schools don't have an Automated External Defibrillator or AED on hand.

To solve that problem the district is teaming up with local agencies to raise money to purchase more devices.

Marc Page has worked as a firefighter and paramedic for more than a decade.

He says he uses an automated external defibrillator or AED on a regular basis.

"It works, and I've seen it work. They are relatively inexpensive for the price of a human life," said Marc Page, Firefighter and Paramedic with the Rapid City Fire Department.

At $1,600 a piece, it's an expense the Rapid City School District can't afford.

"With the tight budgets as they are, it's something that the district needs but we have never budgeted for," said Ron Mincks, the Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds with the Rapid City School District.

So the District is joining together with Black Hills Instruction, The Rapid City Fire Department, and Knology of the Black Hills to raise money to purchase 13 devices.

"It adds up, it really does. That's why we're looking for any help we can get," said Mincks.

An AED delivers a shock to help set the heart back to its normal rhythm.

"Once somebody goes down and becomes unresponsive, you can immediately get the AED, turn it on, attach the pads to the patient and the machine will actually tell you whether or not you need to deliver a shock," said Page.

If a shock is delivered within the first minute of cardiac arrest the patient has a 90 percent chance of survival.

But every minute there after it drops 10 percent.

"So if the ambulance takes 4-5 minutes, you have significantly decreased a person's chance of survival by not having an AED on premise," said Page.

A situation Mincks wants to avoid, especially when schools play host to events with big crowds.

"We have school programs where the community comes; we also have school activities where the community comes to observe. We have big crowds," said Mincks.

And with those big crowds Mincks says it's important to have an AED device on hand as a precaution.

The Rapid City School District must raise $25,000 to purchase 13 defibrillators.

The first fundraiser is scheduled for August 9th at Summer Nights.

 

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