In March of 2015, Consumers Energy Foundation provided Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes a $4,000 grant to purchase new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to replace aging units that were unreliable and couldn’t be repaired. Through year-end donations from our members, we were able to purchase additional AEDs and supplies. The Park now has 8 units in high visitor use areas and in ranger patrol cars.
What’s an AED? You might not be thinking of an AED next time you run up the Dune Climb or walk a beach, but you will be happy to know that there are trained people with the right equipment nearby if you need one!
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.
SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Using an AED on a person who is having SCA may save the person’s life.
We had a situation at the Dune Climb last June, where a visitor had a SCA after climbing up the Dunes. Emergency personnel reacted quickly, applied an AED and stabilized him before transporting him to the hospital where he recovered. Fast action and availability of an AED saved his life.