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Orland fire district launches CPR initiative

An automated external defibrillator. File photo

An automated external defibrillator. File photo

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:39PM



Training more people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and making available the equipment needed to perform CPR are the goals of an initiative being launched by the Orland Fire Protection District.

Called Community CARE — Cardiac Arrest Rescue Enterprise — the program hopes to install automatic external defibrillators in restaurants and other businesses, as well as making AEDs available for local police, according to the district, which will seek grant money to fund the program.

How many AEDs will be bought and the overall cost of the program have yet to be determined, a fire district spokesman said. The cost of the AED units ranges from $1,500 to $3,000, according to Battalion Chief Raymond Kay, who will oversee Community CARE.

Kay said he plans to talk about the program with business groups and community organizations, as well as the Orland Park and Orland Hills police departments.

The initiative aims to boost survival rates for cardiac arrest victims, and Kay said that using an AED in the initial moments after someone goes into cardiac arrest can result in a survival rate of more than 90 percent.

Kay noted that the average age of a cardiac arrest victim is 65, and that the program comes at a time when Orland Park’s population is getting grayer. In 2010, a little more than 19 percent of the village’s residents were 65 or older, but that figure is projected to grow to more than 30 percent within 16 years, Kay noted in a news release about the program.

He said the district responded to 42 cardiac arrest calls in 2011 and 46 last year.

The district said that training the public and deploying AEDs isn’t intended to be a substitute for calling paramedics, but rather to be a bridge until help arrives.

“When someone experiences sudden cardiac arrest at a public location, we want an AED unit to be available to help support immediate care until the emergency fire team arrives on the scene,” Kay said in the release.



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