AEDs now countywide in fire stations   

By Jennifer Lassiter
star staff

ÊÊ  The Carter County Medical Association donated two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the Carter County Rescue Squad yesterday. All the fire stations within the county are equipped with AEDs for their first responders to use in emergencies. Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) joined in with the Carter County Medical Association's efforts yesterday and matched the donation.
  With help from the community, MSHA and "Power of Life" are continuing to reach their goal of placing AEDs in all area schools. MSHA works closely with Gary Smith and the "Power of Life" campaign to help get AEDs in all of the Carter County and City School Systems. MSHA's donation yesterday will go towards their goal of implementing AEDs in the schools systems.
  Scott Williams, CEO of Sycamore Shoals Hospital (SSH), said, "We typically have been working with the 'Power of Life' campaign, but with the Medical Society working hard we wanted to do something in return."
  According to Dr. Jerry Gastineau, Carter County Medical Association President, a year and a half ago, the association was discussing what they could do to benefit the community. The Association decided to start raising money to put AEDs in the hands of the First Responders.
  First Responders are typically first on the scene of an accident. They are our firefighters and policemen. They administer emergency response and basic first aid to those in need, and activate EMS. "Having an AED on scene gives patients in cardiac arrest a better chance of survival," said Gastineau.
  According to Gastineau, the AED's job is to send an electrical pulse shock to the heart back into a normal rhythm. The AEDs are self-explanatory, and if trained properly anyone can use the machines. Gastineau said, "First Responders need the AEDs because they are the ones out on the scene."
  Terry Arnold, director of the Carter County Rescue Squad, accepted the AEDs on behalf of the remaining fire departments. "This puts AEDs in every fire station in the entire county," said Arnold.
  With continued efforts from the community, groups like MSHA, "Power of Life," and the Carter County Medical Association hope to gather funds to spread AEDs into our remaining local schools and businesses.