The board of CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern has provided Havelock with 10 more automatic external defibrillators.
Diane Miller, Havelock grants manager and spokeswoman, said the devices would be placed in police cruisers and city buildings.
"Our application was rejected by the foundation because we were not a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) but the board of the CarolinaEast Foundation, the hospital itself, chose to write a check to cover the cost of those defibrillators," Miller said.
A defibrillator was used to help save a man earlier this year at the Havelock Senior Center, and Havelock police officers have been trained on use of the devices. Still, the city did not have enough money to purchase more of the devices, Miller said. Each device costs about $1,500.
The defibrillators will be added to the eight already in city police cruisers. Money from the state 911 fund paid for those devices.
Three others are located at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center, the Havelock Recreation Center and the senior center. Havelock will now have one device in the city hall building, three at the recreation center, one at the senior center, one at the public works department, and 16 in city police cars.
Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders recalled an incident earlier this year when one of the devices revived a Carteret County commissioner who was having a heart attack at the New Bern Convention Center.
"These are amazing devices and we certainly thank the folks that take the time to learn the training, and we also thank the hospital board for caring enough to purchase these when there were few other opportunities for funding," he said.
The defibrillators are designed to help restart a person’s heart after a cardiac arrest.
"We have a saying in the EMS business that time is tissue," said Scott Dorsett, a firefighter/paramedic with the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department, who helps manage and perform checks on the devices. "The longer that you go without oxygenation to the heart and the brain, it decreases that person’s survivability chances."
Dorsett said the devices help get blood flowing to vital organs quickly.
"When someone’s heart stops, the blood is not pumping through the body, and oxygen is not being transported to the tissues," he said, adding that the devices increase the survivability from a heart attack.
While police have been trained on the devices, residents can go through a two-hour class to become certified on the defibrillators.
"What it does is it allows people in the community to be involved with EMS, so coaches and teachers are increasingly becoming AED certified," Dorsett said. "What we’re trying to do is get the community involved in the AED aspect."
"So what an AED does is it allows people in the community to be proactive and take charge of their own health care and save lives. What we want to do here in Havelock is increase the number of AEDs, increase the number of people that are certified, so that if an emergency happens, we’re prepared and we can increase the survivability of every patient that we touch in Havelock."
Classes on the defibrillators occur on a rotating basis. Call the Havelock Fire Department at 444-3753 for more details.