Parishioners of an Evans church say they are prepared to help any victims of a heart attack with the aid of an automatic external defibrillator.
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Capt. David Dickenson (left), with Grace Baptist Church pastor the Rev. Bill Hilley, shows the church's automated external defibrillator.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Recently, about 20 members of Grace Baptist Church, 4945 Hardy McManus Road, received CPR training and learned how to use the machine, which helps restore a normal heart rhythm by delivering an electric shock to the heart.
"Our pastor recommended that we purchase one, because we felt like we were kind of far out here," said Cynthia King, the church's office manager, stressing that the church is a long way from a hospital or clinic.
She added that with the number of children who participate in an Upward sports program at the church, an AED is greatly needed.
So far, county Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker said, Grace Baptist is the only church that she knows of to have the device.
Although no one at the church has suffered a heart attack, King said there are members who do have heart problems.
David Dickenson, a Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighter, who also is a member at the church, said the device is one of a kind.
"Unlike most AEDs, our machine can be used on children and adults," said Dickenson, who helped with the training class, adding that the church paid about $2,000 for the device.
Another advantage the machine offers is basic, step-by-step procedures.
"The neat thing about this unit that we got is that it not only works as an AED, but it also monitors your CPR," Dickenson said.
"It tells them if they're pushing hard enough," he said, mentioning that the church is already making plans to get more devices and train all of its staff in the near future.
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