South Jordan supports AED use throughout the state
This year, South Jordan City helped pioneer two bills at the Legislature that will make automated external defibrillators more accessible to residents statewide during times of cardiac failure.
South Jordan has been a strong advocate of AEDs. Four years ago, the city passed an ordinance to place AEDs in every public building. Now the state of Utah is making changes that could save lives.
“Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest,” South Jordan City Fire Chief Chris Evans said. “The national survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is 5 to 7 percent. In South Jordan, it is 25 percent.”
This session, Rep. Rich Cunningham, a South Jordan resident, sponsored two bills related to AEDs.
The first, House Bill 116, requires a person who owns or leases an AED to report the installation or removal of the AED within 30 days of when the device is either installed or removed. AEDs in the field, such as those in police cars and ambulances, are exempt from reporting. This will allow the dispatch center to tell first responders where the nearest AED is located from the calling location.
“Seventy to 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home, and that is why it is important to have them in the police cars,” Evans said.
Demonstration labels are now required on AEDs so they will be user friendly. Also, damaging an AED will be a class B misdemeanor.
HB 118 sets up a new fund, the Automated Defibrillator Restricted Account, that the state has put $500,000 in to help fund AEDs in police cars and schools, grades seven through 12, throughout the state. The average cost of an AED is $1,300.
During a recent city council visioning meeting, City Attorney Rob Wall said there are 140 high schools in the state of Utah and 109 of them currently have AEDs.
Evans then mentioned that due to the size of today’s schools, some schools may need more the one AED.
“The city council supports HB 116 and HB 118 100 percent,” South Jordan Mayor Scott Osborne said. “We are pleased with it moving forward throughout the state.”