LOVELAND, Ohio„– If you_re going to go into cardiac arrest, it_s best to do it with an AED and trained„EMS providers nearby.

On January 3, Loveland-Symmes Fire District (LSFD) officials were at the Symmes Township Hall in„Loveland for a township meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, Fire Chief Otto Huber, EMT-A, went to the back room with Symmes Trustee Ken Bryant to make copies. When Bryant handed Huber a copy, he suffered a heart attack.

˙He said, ÂOh no_ and crumbled to the floor,Ó Huber said. Bryant did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Huber and the other LSFD officials started assisting Bryant while a township administrator ran to a Medtronics AED just 50 feet away.

Huber said Assistant Chief Tom Turner, a paramedic, used the AED to get Bryant_s heart beating. ˙He administered two shocks and continuous CPR, and the patient regained a pulse and then within a couple minutes regained consciousness,Ó Huber said. ˙At that point, the paramedic unit and the first responding ladder company arrived and continued with ALS procedures.Ó

They then packaged and transported the patient to„Bethesda„Hospital, where the emergency room physician said, ˙Had it not been for the defibrillator, the patient would not have survived,Ó Huber said.

Since the incident, Bryant has received a five-way bypass.

˙I think the lesson in this is that we need to, as a fire and„EMS community, impress upon our powers to be and our communities that early defibrillation and having our public trained in CPR is the difference between life and death,Ó Huber said. ˙The more AEDs we can put in their hands and CPR training we can give, the more saves we will have.Ó

Huber says all public buildings in„Loveland-Symmes„Township, including schools, have AEDs, as do many of the industrial buildings and large retail outlets. Engine companies check AED batteries quarterly as a part of the LSFD fire prevention program. Huber estimated 99% of the township_s AEDs are by Physio-Control, Inc.

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