Lowcountry first responders start AED alliance to save lives

Lowcountry first responders start AED alliance to save lives

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It's a scary moment when when someone collapses, made even more terrifying if you don't act quickly.

When it comes to cardiac arrest, quick action is a must.

"When a heart stops, somebody has anywhere from four to eight minutes before brain cells start to die," said Charleston County EMS Chief Don Lundy.

Chief Lundy said that's often not enough time for emergency responders to be on scene.

Thankfully AEDs, Automated External Defibrillators, can start a heart back and save lives.

The machines are often seen on the walls of businesses.

Chief Lundy said in the last few years he's seen a lot more machines around the Lowcountry.

Now, he's ready for the next step, people to register their AEDs with their counties.

"If the dispatcher has the ability to know you have an AED on site and can tell you how to use it and put it on a patient, there's a much better chance of survival," said Chief Lundy.

It's free to do on the website, click HERE. You'll fill out the basic questions about your AED. The AED will be geocoded and help dispatchers assist in emergencies.

Charleston County worked with Dorchester and Berkeley counties to start the effort that took shape nine months ago.

"So far, we've found in the first month 300, over 300 AEDs, that we didn't know existed," said Chief Mundy. "It has helped the public realize there's more they can do than call 911 and wait. There's more that they can do to help save somebody's life and it doesn't take a great deal."

This alliance is also partnered with a CPR effort to ensure more people are CPR certified.

Right now, Charleston County EMS is hoping a law will be passed mandating all high school seniors are CPR certified before graduation.

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