In January 2017 public access AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) provided by Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue Firefighters and Auxiliary were installed at Plain Hardware and Beaver Valley School to provide public access defibrillation. The AED is a computerized medical device; it can check a person’s heart rhythm, recognize a rhythm that requires a shock and advise the rescuer if and when a shock is needed. The AED uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to tell the rescuer the steps to take. AEDs are very accurate, easy to use and reliable. With a few hours of training, anyone can learn to operate an AED safely. There are many different brands of AEDs, but the same basic steps apply to all of them. Public access to defibrillation (PAD) makes AEDs available in public and/or private places where large numbers of people gather or where people who are at high risk for heart attacks live.
One unit has been placed inside the Beaver Valley School to serve the students, staff and parents at the school. The second unit is inside Plain Hardware in Plain inasmuch as this is a central location with high traffic year-round and regular daily hours. If the unit is needed at one of the other downtown businesses or other near-bye locations it can easily be accessed and used. In conjunction with placing the AED, LWFR provides the business employees with CPR training to enable them to in turn provide guidance to potential responders. The devices cost about $1000 each and were purchased with community donations to the LWFR Auxiliary and Volunteer Firefighter’s Association through the annual garage sale, pancake breakfast, summer MusicFest at Plain Hardware and other activities.