There are certain disadvantages to living in rural areas. One of the disadvantages is that there is limited access to emergency medical care.
Knowing how to use an automated external defibrillator or AED can save someone's life; because every second counts.
Using an AED when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest will increase that person's chance of survival.
Unfortunately, the time that it takes for rescue workers to reach someone who is in need of emergency care can take a while.
“Our time actually getting on the scene can be anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes to an hour,” Dana Brancati, EMT at Cambria Ambulance said.
“We'll be there as fast as we can, but having some training will also help,” said Timothy Benes, operations and administrator for the Cambria Community Health Care District.
Benes said it usually takes around nine to ten minutes to get there from the time the patient collapses.
The AED assesses whether the heart is beating normally or if it’s stopped completely and must be shocked.
“Any time a person collapses, we tell everyone to dial 911 and have somebody go get the defibrillator. You can put it on the patient’s chest and because of how these are programmed, it won’t shock someone if they don’t need to be shocked," Benes said.
And if you've never used an AED before, a helpful voice prompter guides the user through the process.
If you want to take a class to learn more, the AED training sessions that Cambria Community Healthcare runs are only two-and-a-half hours long. This class is slightly shorter than the traditional CPR training that takes around eight hours to complete.