Cambridge receives two AEDs

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic
Several Cambridge employees were on hand to see a demonstration on how an automated external defibrillator worked during a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Village Hall. The Village of Cambridge was presented with two of the machines from the Hammond-Henry Hospital Foundation. On hand for the event were from left, front row, Gary Bennett, RN community educator for Hammond-Henry Hospital; Danielle Ekin, and Dwaine VanMeenen and back row, Jeff Wexell, Paula Pool, Damian DeKezel, Boyd Johnson and Ed Dole.

    Hammond-Henry Hospital Foundation announced it donated $31,000 for the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed in  surrounding communities such as Geneseo, Colona, Cambridge, Atkinson and Annawan.

    Cambridge received two of the machines. One will be placed in the Cambridge police car, while the other one will be at the Village of Cambridge office.

    “We are very thankful for this donation,” stated Dwaine VanMeenen, Cambridge village administrator. “Hopefully we will never have to use them, but now we have them just in case.”

    AEDs are computerized devices that can be used by bystanders and lay rescuers on victims who are thought to be in cardiac arrest.  They provide voice and visual prompts to lead rescuers through the steps of operation. AEDs analyze the victim's heart rhythm, determine if a defibrillation shock is needed, then prompt the rescuer to "clear" the victim and deliver a shock.  

    New technology has made AEDs simple and user-friendly. Clear audio and visual cues tell users what to do when using an AED and coach people through CPR. A shock is delivered only if the victim needs it. 

    AEDs dramatically increase a victim’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest.  Unless CPR and defibrillation are provided within minutes of collapse, few attempts at resuscitation are successful. Even if CPR is performed, defibrillation with an AED is required to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm.

    "We are so pleased to be able to offer these lifesaving devices to organizations in our area," said Darcy Hepner from the Hammond-Henry Hospital Foundation.  "There are nearly 300,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in this country, so the more available AEDs are, the more lives we can save."

    All nonprofit organizations in the communities named above are eligible to apply for an AED from this grant, which runs June 2010 through June 2011. They must have personnel willing and able to be trained in CPR and how to use an AED, and must also commit to receiving continued training as well as maintaining the AED device.  Interested organizations should contact Gary Bennett at 309-944-9133 or 

    This announcement coincides with the American Heart Association’s CPR and AED Awareness .   The association’s goal is to educate one million Americans about CPR and is calling on a new audience to do so -- teens.

     "We are reaching out to teens to create the next generation of lifesavers," said Gary Bennett RN Community Educator for Hammond-Henry Hospital. "Teens can learn how to save lives and play an important role by setting an example for their friends, families and neighbors about the need for CPR and AED training -- and they can encourage the adults in their lives to learn CPR."

    The American Heart  Association will increase awareness about CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) so more people will know the simple steps to save a life if someone suddenly collapses from cardiac arrest.

    Anyone – teen or adult – can help the association reach its goal by:

    • Playing the "Be the Beat" educational game or watching the Hands-Only CPR video at

    • Taking a classroom-based course. To find a course, go to and click on the ECC Class Connector.

    • Training on CPR Anytime, a self-directed, at-home CPR kit.  Kits can be ordered at

    Once people have learned about CPR via traditional instructor-led training or a CPR Anytime kit, they can log their experience at People who play the educational game or watch the Hands-Only video on the CPR Week site will be automatically counted toward the goal. A real-time heat map will track the number of people who have taken action in communities nationwide.

    The association recently expanded its outreach to teens with Be the Beat, a program that encourages teens to learn what to do when someone collapses from cardiac arrest. Visitors to learn the basics of CPR and how to use an AED through a series of video games and interactive quizzes. There’s also a playlist of 100-beat-per-minute songs to set the right pace for chest compressions.

    Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere. And when it does, a victim’s survival depends on the people around them.  Skilled emergency personnel treat about 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, but more than 92 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital die from it.

    Training more people to perform CPR – in its 50th year as a lifesaving measure -- increases survival by enabling more possible bystanders to handle an emergency.  Less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander.  Without immediate CPR, the chance of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest drops up to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation.  This means that by the time EMS personnel arrive on the scene it could be too late.

    "CPR and AED training are critical to saving lives," Bennett said. "CPR  is one way we hope to increase awareness about cardiac arrest as a significant health problem and get teens and adults to take action so more lives can be saved."