The Jackson County Commission approved the purchase of six new automated external defibrillators at its meeting Monday afternoon. Three of the new devices will be housed at the Jackson County Courthouse, two will be kept at the Jackson County Jail and the last we be at the Public Works Department.

At last week’s work session, Thomas Kubista from Fastenal and Ryan Peck from Zoll Medical Corporation spoke to the commission about the AEDs.

Peck said it is important to have AEDs readily available in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. It is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it kills about 1,000 people a day.

“It can happen any place, anytime, anywhere,” said Peck.

Peck said the Zoll AED is like having an EMT or a CPR instructor with on the scene immediately in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.

Commission Chairman Tim Guffey asked Peck how long the batteries lasted in the Zoll AED. Peck said with traditional AEDs, the electro pads last about two years and the batteries last three to four years. He said with the Zoll device, the county will have no associated costs for five years. He said the pads and the batteries last five years.

Jackson County EMA Director said the reason these were being discussed is because the three defibrillators in the Courthouse and the two at the County Jail are end of life February 2021. HE said the batteries for the current defibrillators are $500 a piece. Smith said the Zoll units run off batteries that could be purchased at Walmart.

Smith said they will need to be replaced in very short order, and he said the ones at the jail are already in need of new batteries.

The new defibrillators cost about $1,300 a piece. With the purchase of the AEDs, the county will get the wall cabinet to house the defibrillators for free. Peck said that promotion would save the county about $1,000.

District 4 Commissioner Mike Sisk asked how long the AEDs would last. Peck said if you do not get 10 years out of the device, something probably went sideways with it. Smith said the current units in the Courthouse and Jail were bought in 2010.

Guffey said it was important the county have AEDs for life-saving situations.

“We have so many people coming through here, especially older people,” said Guffey. “In case something happens, we want to be prepared.”

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