GONZALES — It’s been a long time coming, but the Gonzales County Rescue has fulfilled its promise of providing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office.
“It means a lot, kind of something off of our backs now,” said Rescue Chief Ken Colwell.
He was referring to the deal made by Gonzales County Rescue a couple of years back to fundraise for the lifesaving devices. The EMS volunteer group hosted a hay ride in 2016 to raise money in order to purchase the lifesaving devises to donate to the sheriff’s office, but the checks were never deposited, which was brought to light in the recent EMS directors scandal. However, the checks were recently discovered and the paramedics were able to complete their mission.
Colwell said that the AEDs will be a benefit for the community. Two units were donated to the sheriff’s office for use by their deputies in the field, as needed. Deputies will get a short class on proper use of the devices before being entrusted with them.
“We've looked forward for a long time to have them,” said Chief Deputy Lynn Wilburn, who was on hand to receive the units. “As first responders, certainly EMS has the technology and experience, but by the nature of the calls we make, oftentimes we are the first ones there [to a scene]. And I perceive that these will pay for themselves tenfold.”
The Lifepack defibrillators cost $740 each. AEDs are used to treat a sudden stoppage of the heart, or sudden cardiac arrest. They are portable devices that checks heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to attempt to restore a normal rhythm.