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Soldiers Grove Fire Department purchases AED
The Soldiers Grove Volunteer Fire Department, or Redcoats as they refer to themselves, have purchased and installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) unit for the community.

SOLDIERS GROVE - The Soldiers Grove Fire Department or the ‘Redcoats,’ as they refer to themselves have purchased and installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) device, to be housed in the village hall building.

The device was paid for through the Redcoats’ fundraising efforts, and will be available to anyone who is experiencing a life-threatening event, such as a heart attack, during the times that the village hall is open.

A training on use of the device will be offered on Wednesday, Mar. 14, 6:30 p.m., at the Soldiers Grove Library. The event will be free of charge, and available to members of the general public who are interested in learning how to operate the device.

“This is basically a training offered by a certified instructor as a ‘get your feet wet,’ basic instruction, opportunity,” said Soldiers Grove Fire Chief Ben Clason. “Although participants won’t receive a certification, they will walk away with knowledge of how to operate the device and be comfortable with using it.”

Clason said that at the event, he will take names of individuals interested in pursuing certification. If there is enough interest, there will be another training where participants will be able to earn certification. There will be a fee for the certification training to be announced. Anyone who is interested can contact Clason at 608-632-0894.

What is an AED?

An AED is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.

“There is only one in our immediate area, located at North Crawford Schools, and we feel strongly that this lifesaving device will be of benefit to our community,” Clason said.

Cost and maintenance

The Redcoats paid for the initial purchase of the device in the amount of $1,199.  The Soldiers Grove Village Board agreed to pay for part or all of the expense of ongoing maintenance of the device, which will occur on a two- and four-year basis.

The pads are good for two years, and will cost $323 at current prices to replace. The battery comes with a four-year warranty, and will cost $169 every four years to replace, meaning that every fourth year, maintenance would cost $492.