Ancient City Heart Beat program can save a life


400-ACHBSt Johns County Fire Rescue’s program, Ancient City Heart Beat, strives to encourage the placement, training and use of Automated External Defibrillators through the county as a measure to provide faster assistance to a person in cardiac arrest.

While commonly used by emergency personnel and healthcare providers, AED’s are designed to be user-friendly to non-professionals.

While AED’s have been in place for some time in areas of public gatherings, such as airports or sporting arenas, they are now on the rise in many businesses, office buildings and shopping malls, nearly any place where there are likely to be large numbers of people wither working or assembled.

The City of St Augustine recently installed AEDs in five locations: City Hall, the Public Works facility, the Municipal Marina, the Galimore Center and the Visitors Information Center.

St Johns County Fire Rescue is encouraging the registration of all AEDs throughout the community. You can learn how to properly manage, maintain and obtain the registry form online.

Even though Florida’s Cardiac Arrest Survival Act (FS 768.1325) provides immunity for Good Samaritans using an AED, this immunity can be jeopardized by not properly maintaining the device, according to St Johns County Fire Rescue.

Proper maintenance includes changing electrode pads and batteries prior to the expiration dates. One advantage to registering the AED is that St Johns County Fire Rescue will provide email reminders to owners so they will periodically check the device to ensure it is in working order.

Information gained from the registration of an AED is provided to dispatchers enabling them to communicate the locations to callers reporting potential sudden cardiac arrest incidents.

This information will allow a dispatcher to see the precise location of a registered AED near a sudden cardiac arrest victim so this lifesaving information can be immediately shared with the caller.

So whether the AED is in a workplace, home, school, place of worship or retail outlet, having it registered with St Johns County Fire Rescue greatly increase its value as a tool for saving a life.