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Arlington Rotary provides defibrillators to community

 

Christopher Andersson

Arlington Rotary Club member Erik Granroth, right, and president Jola Barnett show one of the Automated External Defibrillators that the club has purchased for a variety of community organization during a club meeting on May 17.

Arlington police, Haller Park and the Stillaguamish Senior Center, among others, now have better tools to respond to life-threatening heart problems thanks to the Arlington Rotary Club.

The local Rotary Club and a grant helped provide $20,000 worth of Automated External Defibrillators (a.k.a. AEDs) for six different organizations around the city.

They handed out the devices to local officials during their May 17 meeting.

AEDs are electronic devices which can diagnose heart problems and then administer a shock if necessary.

Electronic voice instructions can guide even those without medical training through the process.

"You simply have to be smart enough to open it," said Erik Granroth, a Rotary Club member.

The device can perform the diagnosis itself.

"One experience I had, personally, years ago, being trained as an emergency first responder, was someone who had signs of a heart attack but it ended up being an epileptic seizure," said Granroth.

"These are smart enough to know that if it's not a heart attack, it won't shock them," he said.

Last year all Rotary Clubs were encouraged to apply for community grants to improve the community.

The Arlington Rotary Club chose AEDs as a potential project.

"A few of us brainstormed some ideas and decided that something we could do is provide AED units for spaces in our community where people gather," said Jola Barnett, current Rotary president.

"We have the opportunity to save a life here in our own backyard," with the AEDs, said Granroth.

The Rotary Club was granted the funds they applied for earlier this year.

"Erik applied for the maximum, which was $10,000, not really thinking we would get $10,000 because depending on the number of grant requests, they'll downgrade that and give you $3,500 or something, but we got the whole $10,000 and we were pretty stoked about that," said Barnett.

The Club matched those funds as well, for a total of a little more than $20,000 put into the project.

A total of 13 AED units were purchased.

They went to a number of different organizations, as the Rotary Club wanted to spread them throughout the community.

One AED each was given to the Arlington Youth Football Association, the Lakewood/Smokey Point Library, the Stillaguamish Senior Center, the Arlington Runners Club and the city of Arlington for Haller Park.

The final eight went to the Arlington Police Department.

Some of their police cars already had AEDs, but now all of them will be equipped with one.

"By outfitting all of the marked patrol units, what that means from a dispatch standpoint if that if someone calls 911 and there's a CPR in progress, we can dispatch an officer to that call with an AED unit," said Arlington Police Chief and Rotary member Jonathan Ventura.

"That's a potential for big savings on time," he said.

Barnett said the Rotary Club is happy to help out Arlington.

"We are so pleased to be able to do this for members of our community," she said.

"That's what we raise money for every year at our Duck Dash, to support the needs of our community," Barnett said.

 

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