The Water Wheel Fire and Medical District is proud to report there are now 13 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) located throughout the fire district.

The devices are accessible to the public and meant to be used during a sudden cardiac arrest.

“These devices have proven their value many times over and the general public have used these devices to save lives,” said Ron Sattelmaier, fire chief of the Water Wheel Fire & Medical District. “The use of these devices is virtually foolproof as once they are activated the recorded voice prompts the user in the step-by-step process.”

Back in the summer of 2014, the Whispering Pines Fire District started an outreach program to place public access AEDs in strategic locations around the fire district.

Following the consolidation of the Beaver Valley and the Whispering Pines fire districts in July 2017, the outreach program continued under the Water Wheel Fire & Medical District, with additional units purchased and installed.

This effort has been funded over the years by the fire district, as well as from grants and financial support from the MHA Foundation. Most recently, the Beaver Valley Estates Auxiliary and the Water Wheel Fire & Medical District Auxiliary have contributed funds.

There are now 13 AEDs around the fire district, with each AED in a weatherproof case.

There are three in Beaver Valley, two in Geronimo Estates/Elusive Acres, one at the Girl Scout camp, two in Whispering Pines, two in Verde Glen, one at Cowan Ranch, one in Rim Trail and one in Bonita Creek. There is also an AED at each of the four fire stations where there is also a public access emergency 911 phone. The district periodically inspects the AEDs, replacing batteries and defibrillation pads.

“These AEDs are not meant to take the place of good quality CPR and advanced life support from the fire department and ambulance service so you still need to call 911, but rather they are meant to be a quick response by the public to a sudden cardiac arrest event,” he said.

The fire district offers CPR classes and AED classes to the public as requested.

Call the offices at 928-474-3088 to arrange a class.

“We will teach a class to anyone that requests and classes can be as small as one person,” he said.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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