KENDALLVILLE — If your heart is beating out of time, or worse, not beating at all, ideally the first person to arrive should be able to get it back to normal.
First responders can do this with automatic electronic defibrillators, and the Kendallville Fire Department is in the process of replacing its current equipment with newer, higher-end models.
Kendallville Fire Chief Jeremy McKinley addressed the Kendallville Board of Works and Public Safety on Tuesday morning, asking for approximately $19,000 to replace seven AEDs for the fire department as well as the only remaining AED at City Hall in case of emergency.
Current Phillips-brand AEDs have reached end of life and outlived Federal Food and Drug Administration best practices, so the department is looking to upgrade to a newer model.
“They really survived their life, 15 years, pretty standard. It’s definitely worth it,” McKinley said.
The city is now looking to purchase new AEDs from device maker Zoll, which are the same type used by Parkview Health and recommended for fire departments.
McKinley said AEDs are slightly more advanced models with added functionality that can be used by someone with the proper training like firefighters or other EMS workers.
That’s not to say the average person couldn’t use it in an emergency – Mayor Suzanne Handshoe specifically asked for it – McKinley stating it just has additional features that might be useful to someone with more know-how.
McKinley said Parkview Noble has agreed to provide replacement pads for the units as needed, which will save the city money from having to purchase and replace these consumables.
All eight Noble County Fire Departments are working to replace their AEDs this year, with some of the smaller volunteer departments seeking grants to help cover replacement costs.
Noble County police officers also have AEDs in their vehicles, which were purchased in 2018 through a major local fundraising campaign by the local Fraternal Order of Police to equip officers with them. These models are highly automated, with the devices even giving audio instructions to the user on where and how to place the electrodes on the patient’s chest. These AEDs then automatically detect the person’s vital signs and deliver the appropriate shock to try to return the heart to normal sinus rhythm.
In other business on Tuesday, the working committee:
• Deferring a request to remove a parking ban on State Street to the Kendallville City Council. A resident had asked the city to repeal the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. parking ban on her block, which prevents her from parking a vehicle on the street during the day.
Since the no-parking zone was established by municipal ordinance, the works commission referred the matter to the council, which is the body that should change it by ordinance.
• Approved reimbursement of $14,911 to Bill Fields, 1104 Riley Road, for materials and labor required to remove and rebuild a pole building on his property. Fields received planning permission from the city to build the structure, but it was later determined that a planning department error had allowed the building to be too close to the water’s edge of Round Lake. The city agreed to reimburse Fields for the cost of demolishing, moving, and rebuilding the building on the property, due to the city’s error.