Queen Creek residents could get a little jolt starting next week - if they have a heart attack on town property, that is. Queen Creek is installing four defibrillators in town facilities next week. All town staff members - about 140 of them - are being trained in how to use the devices and perform CPR in case of an emergency.
Queen Creek residents could get a little jolt starting next week - if they have a heart attack on town property, that is.
Queen Creek is installing four defibrillators in town facilities next week.
All town staff members - about 140 of them - are being trained in how to use the devices and perform CPR in case of an emergency.
"Many other places have been using automatic defibrillators. Airports have them, parks have them," fire inspector Jon Spezzacatena said. "They've been proven effective."
Spezzacatena pointed to a case in Tucson where a teen's life was saved by a defibrillator last week. According to The Arizona Daily Star, a 17-year-old Cienega High School student's heart stopped during weight training class, and his school had a defibrillator.
Public Safety Assistant Joe LaFortune said there had been four cases where defibrillators could have been used in Queen Creek Council Chambers or the Development Services Building before 2005. He didn't know the specifics of any incident, although he did say none of the victims died.
The town got the defibrillators through a state grant in 2005 but put off installing them while new town buildings were going up, LaFortune said.
Additional delays came in when the town decided to transition from Rural/Metro fire coverage to its own fire department, hindering training on the devices.
"We just put all that on the shelf then. Now that we have our own fire department, it was something we could do now," LaFortune said.
But now that those hurdles are gone, the town is ready to install the defibrillators in its council chambers, building safety department and library annex, Spezzacatena said. The fourth will likely go in at Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre.
A group of about 25 town employees sat around tables in town hall Tuesday morning as a firefighter talked about heart attacks. A row of dummies lined the side of the room, ready for the class participants to practice CPR.
Those employees were one of the last groups to go through CPR classes, which started in late March, Spezzacatena said. By the time sessions wrap up in late May, about 140 town employees will be trained.
Eventually, Queen Creek officials would like to install defibrillators in every town vehicle and other locations, Spezzacatena said.
But without funding identified and other revenue-generating projects going on, that's a ways off.
"It's a little hard right now to start something new with our current economic situation," LaFortune said. "It's an idea we have, but we'll have to wait to actually fund it."