Garden Grove

SWAT has a “heart ” … saver

AT THE PRESENTATION, Robert Emanuel; 2022 GG Rotary President, Jason Johnson; GGPD, Douglas Pluard; GGPD, and Scott Weimer; GG Rotary PAD Chair.

Christmas came early this year for the Garden Grove Police Department, and the Garden Grove Rotary Club wants everyone to know that due to their pre-season gift, it means there is now an automatic external defibrillator (AED) located on their SWAT Team vehicle, available for any and all emergencies they might find themselves confronted with out in the field.

The Garden Grove Rotary Club established a local Public Access to Defibrillators Program (PAD) in 2008 and have been acquiring and placing these life saving Automated External Defibrillators throughout the community. They have been working with local community groups and organizations in order to facilitate the placement of the devices in public places, with citizens and employees trained to use them.

Twenty-three of them have already been placed into service at the Louis Lake Senior Citizen Center, the Garden Grove Community Gym, the Acacia Adult Day Center, both Boys and Girls Club campuses, the Gem Theatre, the Festival Amphitheatre, Kiwanisland, all three Little League fields, the Courtyard Center, the Elks Club, all 7 Garden Grove Unified School District high school campuses, Garden Grove City Hall and the Garden Grove Police Department. 

GGPD Sergeant and spokesman Douglas Pluard commented, “the Garden Grove Police Department is extremely grateful for this AED, which will benefit the citizens of Garden Grove in a medical emergency during a hostile situation “

“Our plan is to continue to place as many of these units into operation as our ongoing fundraising will allow,” said Scott Weimer; chair of Rotary’s Public Access to Defibrillators Program. “With this additional AED provided to the Police Department’s SWAT Team, that makes 24 in total since the beginning of our program. Our Rotary Club provides the AED and the recipient organization maintains it. Our PAD program, which works with the AED Institute of America, helps with the installation of the units and having individuals trained in both CPR administration (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED use (automated external defibrillation).”

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is usually caused by an electrical malfunction of the heart called ventricular fibrillation: a quivering of the heart muscle that makes it unable to pump blood. Once that circulation stops, a person quickly loses consciousness and the ability to breathe. The chance of success of resuscitation drops rapidly with each passing minute, and after 10 minutes in cardiac arrest, a victim’s chance of survival is only about 2 percent.

Though certain medical conditions increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, most people with increased risk are totally unaware that they have it. It strikes about 1,000 people a day in the United States alone, from young high school athletes on the playing field to the elderly. The only effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest is defibrillation, or an electric shock to the heart. Electric current discharged through the chest can interrupt ventricular fibrillation and allow the heart’s normal rhythm to resume. With rapid defibrillation within 1-3 minutes the survival rate can be up to 90 percent. Without it thesurvival rate is usually nil.

The AED defibrillator, said physician and Garden Grove Rotarian Bill Annan, is able to detect the difference between a normal sinus and a life threatening cardiac rhythm before going into operation.

“The use of the Automated External Defibrillator does not require the user to be able to read EKGs or diagnose ventricular fibrillation,” Annan remarks. “The AED gives verbal instructions to the user and is able to read the heart rhythm. If the victim is not in ventricular fibrillation it will not deliver a shock.

“Every minute spent waiting for paramedics lowers the chance of survival by approximately 10 percent. Therefore, in order to increase survival rates it is necessary for AEDs to both be available in the community and to have people trained and ready to use them.”

At the AED Institute, President Pamela Foster, has been most supportive, Weimer said, working with key Rotarians to implement the project early on. “The AED PAD program is designed to help citizens help others,” says Foster. “Installing the AEDs in public places is the first step, educating the public about CPR and how to use the AEDs is the second step, and the third is to trust that informed bystanders will step up to take the necessary actions to save another person’s life in an emergency.”

The Rotarians’ goal is to save lives. “It’s a purely public service,” Weimer says, “and that’s what the Rotary Club does. By adhering to our motto of Service above Self, we’re hoping to set a standard here. And because we’re in the business sector, we are hoping to be able to reach out to our business contacts in the community to give our PAD program ongoing support and longevity.”

Public involvement and contributions can help make the difference in a life or death situation. To join Rotary in this effort now. regarding AED’s or to donate to the campaign, contact Rotary’s AED campaign chair, Scott Weimer at (714) 534-0992.


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