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Owen County EMS, EMA coordinate annual maintenance of AEDs

Owen County Emergency Management Director Larry Karsner and Owen County EMS Director Brian Bowman.

The departments of Owen County EMS and Owen County Emergency Management this week coordinated the annual maintenance of the community's AEDs or automated external defibrillators.

AEDs are used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The device can analyze the heart's rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

In Owen County, AEDs are supplied to first responding agencies, the City of Owenton, the public library, the courthouse, and the judicial center at no cost to the individual agencies.

"In a sudden cardiac arrest situation, every second counts to provide oxygen to the heart and brain," said Owen County EMS Director Brian Bowman. "The sooner you can provide that kind of an electrical shock to the heart, the higher the survival rates are."

Due to the age of the AEDs, annual inspections are required to check the biometric standards of each machine and installation of new pads or electrodes and batteries.

The Owen County Fiscal Court funds annual inspections of the AEDs through Owen County EMS, which coordinates the program, along with Owen County Emergency Management.

The fiscal court is currently working to secure a grant that would place AEDs in all local law enforcement vehicles and additional public areas throughout the community.

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