MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Southaven has put automatic external defibrillators at some of its public facilities in an effort to help save employees and citizens lives in case of an emergency.

The city purchased 16 units for $1,600 each.

The AEDs, which are used to resuscitate heart-attack victims or others suffering from respiratory failure, are not new technology. Organizations such as churches and governments around the country have installed the devices in their facilities.

But the city decided having more of them would be an easy way to help protect its citizens.

This is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to continually improve our public safety delivery, Southaven Mayor Greg Davis said. It is critical that we have these devices available just in case an emergency medical situation occurs.

The city already had one AED unit at City Hall.

The defibrillators are no bigger than a laptop computer and weigh about 6 pounds, Southaven EMS coordinator Tony McCallum said.

McCallum said the units came in weeks ago, but the city didn t want to put them in the facilities until it had trained personnel to use them. The city has trained 23 employees to use the devices and to perform CPR.

McCallum said the Zoll AEDPlus units the city purchased are user-friendly, with a mix of voice and text instructions. The electrode pads have drawings to show the user where to position them on the victim s chest.

The AED also gives voice instructions on how to perform CPR.

It is extremely interactive and very easy to use, McCallum said. I am very excited to see the city take the initiative to purchase the units. It just shows the city s dedication to help people.

He said the units have been placed in public facilities where employees have been trained.

Four are at Southaven City Hall, two are at the Southaven Public Works facility on Pepperchase Drive and 11 will be placed throughout the city parks system, including at the Southaven Amphitheatre.

– Yolanda Jones: (662) 996-1474