Hernando deploys portable defibrillator units - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hernando deploys portable defibrillator units

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - If you walk into the City Court building at the Gale Center in Hernando, you will see something a bit uncommon, but something that is the city's way of helping to save lives. 

"The machine itself tells you exactly what to do," Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson said. "You just lay it on the chest and it starts talking to you when you turn it on, and it tells you to back away while it monitors the heart rate and vital signs."

It then advises when a shock is needed.  Six portable defibrillator units were given to the city by family of Sean Patrick O'Hara, and the local chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

O'Hara died of SCA in 2007 at the age of 21.

Firefighter Richard Raymond says the Hernando Fire Department has two units, machines that are easy for anyone to use in an emergency situation with no training necessary.

"It's very important," Raymond said. "The quicker you can react, the better and this is an excellent tool in saving people's lives."

Kathy Watson is an ER nurse at Methodist South. She says that following simple instructions can help to save lives.

"First you need to call 911, but if you have a defibrillator you can start the process," Watson said. "The faster you get ACLS to these people, the odds of a good prognosis is increasing markedly."

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