The idea of installing Automatic Electronic Difibulators in neighborhoods is catching on. To date more than 130 groups have purchased AEDs for their neighborhoods within the Villages. Gene Murray, a resident of the Village of Pennecamp, discovered this while out talking a walk. Curious about the red boxes he was noticing, he stopped a resident of that neighborhood and found out what they are and what is involved in getting them installed.
Used in cases of cardiac arrest, AEDs are battery operated devices that diagnoses whether a heart needs to be defibrillated (shocked) into resuming a normal rhythm. The device guides the responder through audible commands. Murray did a little research and discovered that statistics show that nationwide there is a 6 to 7 percent chance of surviving a cardiac arrest that occurs outside a hospital. The Villages has a much higher survival rate (over 40 percent) largely due to the number of AED units located throughout the community at recreation centers, the 130+ existing Villages AED communities, and the response time of medics. The AED combined with immediate CPR has saved the lives of numerous people in The Villages.
He also discovered that getting them installed is an all-volunteer, grass-roots effort. First step is getting a neighborhood group together that is interested in purchasing the AEDs. The cost comes to about $2,000 per unit including mounting, batteries and locks. Also, volunteers willing to be trained in the use of the AEDs are needed. Two responders per unit are required.
Murray liked the idea and set about organizing a group in the “The Woods” section of the Village of Pennecamp. He has about 166 households interested and they are looking at purchasing five units. They have developed a website for this endeavor, www.woodsaeds.com.
He will be holding an organizational meeting in January and Lt. John Longacre of The Villages Public Safety Department, the point of contact for any group interested in pursuing the AED program, will be in attendance to answer questions. If you are interested in attending the meeting, check the website after the first of the year the meeting date and time will be posted.