Fire Department kicks off fundraiser for needed equipment

Starting this month, the Lopez Fire Department is beginning a fundraising drive to procure new automatic external defibrillators (AED’s) for the fire department. The AED’s, which are standard equipment for victims of cardiac arrest, are necessary to “shock” the heart back into the rhythmic pumping of blood.

“When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, and usually these are adults, the majority of cases go into ventricular fibrillation,” Marty Clark, Lopez Paramedic, commented. “No circulation occurs inside the body when this happens. The defibs (AED’s) shock the heart and bring it back into rhythm. The problem is that a human loses 10% of the ability to be resuscitated for every minute the individual is in cardiac arrest. We need a lot of AED’s available so that we have enough devices to cover our bases.

“For example, the Thrift Store kicked off our drive with a 1000.00 donation. This was so generous of them, and we hope the community will follow in their footsteps.”

The AED’s currently in use are 12 years old now and the technology has changed positively. The new units are smaller, lighter, cheaper and more effective. The American Heart Association sets standards for cardiac resucitations and the old AED’s do not meet their standards. The Lopez Fire Department needs 10 more units and they cost about 1800.00 each and meet the AHA standards.

This Fourth of July, the fire department will have people soliciting funds during the parade and at the salmon barbecue picnic. Liz Malinoff, an EMT and a lieutenant, Terry Marshall, also an EMT and a lieutenant, Marty Clark, paramedic, and Monte Midkiff, EMT and a fire lieutenant, can all be showered with money for donations. All donations are tax deductible, and you can contact these individuals or call the office at: 468-2991.