LIMA — The number of defibrillators — portable devices used to resuscitate persons undergoing cardiac arrest — that Allen County sheriff’s deputies have at their disposal increased three-fold almost overnight, thanks to the two Lima hospitals and some behind-the-scenes arm-twisting by American Township EMS officials.
During ceremonies Thursday morning at the Edgewood Drive substation of the American Township Fire Department, Sheriff Matt Treglia accepted the donation of four new defibrillators for use by his road deputies. The devices were donated by Lima Memorial Hospital and Mercy Health-St. Rita’s. Robert Rowland, EMS coordinator for American Township, facilitated the donations.
“We can’t thank you guys enough,” Treglia told representatives from the two hospitals on hand for Thursday’s event. “And we can’t thank American Township [EMS officials] enough for training our deputies” on the use of the new defibrillators.
Treglia said the department previously had relied on two defibrillators, both of which are nearly 20 years old. The new devices are lighter that earlier models and are simple to use. He said that with six units available for use by deputies, three defibrillators will be assigned nightly to each half of the county.
“You don’t have to have any medical training to operate these machines,” said Brian Anderson, EMS coordinator at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s. “The unit tells you exactly what to do. Anyone can use them. We just wanted to make sure that the equipment that’s needed for first responders is available to them.”
Doug LaRue, EMS coordinator at Lima Memorial, said, “These guys usually get to the scene [of an emergency] before the EMS does. It’s important they have these units at their disposal. … Saving lives; that’s what we’re all about.”
Rowland said donations are always appreciated toward the purchase of more defibrillators.
“We can buy them for about $1,500 each. We’d like to get more” for use by local first responders, he said.