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Preston County buildings to be equipped with AEDs

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Commission approved the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for its buildings at its most recent meeting. 

Commissioner Don Smith first floated the idea years ago but it got lost in the shuffle that is governance. He brought the idea up again several weeks ago and worked on finding what would suit the county best.

Leasing them would make no sense, Smith said. It costs almost as much to do that each year as to just buy them. Most feature 5-10 year battery life.

Commissioner Dave Price said the AEDs will go in the annex building, courthouse, animal shelter, jail building and extension office. 

“Don and I have discussed this and the meeting room is in great proximity for one that will be located on the first floor of the courthouse. And the jail building, that auxiliary building where deputies are, is in very close proximity to that first floor in the jail building. So we’re actually getting two for one, sort of,” 

Smith said it’s important the devices are centrally located and everyone knows where they are.

“It’s funny you would mention that,” Mace said. “Actually we’re partnering with the health department for an evacuation emergency plan for the annex and the courthouse. We’ve developed a partnership with them just getting started on this. So this will be part of that plan. So good timing.”

Commission President Samantha Stone said she wanted to make sure if they were going to have the equipment it was part of that plan.

The commission unanimously voted to buy the five AEDs at $1,900 each.

“If it saves one life, it’s really worth the price, honestly,” Smith told The Dominion Post. “You know, I swear to God, I hope we never have to use these things, but they’re there if we got to.”

Studies have shown the quicker a heart is restarted the more likely a cardiac arrest patient is to survive, Smith said.  

“Just doing CPR on him is one thing, but if you can use that AED to get their heart restarted, that is a big lifesaver for people,” Smith said. “And we have an older population. We have a lot of people come in to the different areas that may have medical problems or something like that, we don’t know. So it’s always a good thing to be proactive, to have those.”

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