Eglin Public Access Defibrillator Program

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Aaron Roberts
  • 96th Medical Group, Education and Training Flight
The 96th Test Wing commander has direct oversight of the public access defibrillator program and ensures compliance so you can rest assured while you're shopping at the commissary or working out at the base gym, there is always someone trained and on watch to utilize the lifesaving skills the 96th Medical Group provides them.

Everyone has heard the term "cardiac arrest". If you witnessed someone go into cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 383,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital setting annually. So, I ask again, are you prepared?

At the 96th MDG, we are leading the way to ensure public buildings on base employ the PAD program. This program is the bedrock for decreasing premature death related to sudden cardiac arrest.

The PAD program ensures that 90 buildings here are equipped with 130 Automated External Defibrillators (AED) and cardio pulmonary resuscitation trained staff in each area. This mandate is outlined by the American Heart Association for the purpose of providing a lifesaving "shock" if anyone should ever need it. It is crucial these AEDs are available in all buildings, because studies show the faster defibrillation is given, the higher the survival rate.

Every AED is inspected daily by the respective building's AED monitor to ensure it is operational. Also, the 96th MDG conducts quarterly "man down" exercises to ensure the staff at every AED location knows what to do in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest emergency. In 2013 alone, the MDG trained and certified more than 2,000 Eglin employees in CPR with use of an AED.

At the 96th MDG, patients are our first priority, which is why we train, monitor and inspect to achieve the best possible outcome for the base populous. Practice makes us better, which is why training across the installation is paramount; most importantly though, is taking preventive measures that reduce the risk of heart disease like routine exercise, healthy diet and maintenance health exams.