Parish employees take Automated External Defibrillator training

Staff Report
L to R: Ralph Melancon, Latricia Anthony, Lester Kenyon, Eric Alsay, Tommy Marchand, Tag Doss, Laurie Lemoine, Val Cummins, Sandra Perera, Colt Babin (back), Vanessa Beiriger (front), Bridget Marino, Dawn Caballero, Richard Throckmorton (back), Jamaica Banker and Ashley Barnes.

     Parish employees have received training at the Ascension Parish Governmental Complex in Gonzales on the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). AEDs are portable electronic devices that can automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of a person and send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.

     The Parish recently purchased two AED units, one located in the lobby of the conference room area in the governmental complex, and the other located at the new Department of Public Works building in Donaldsonville.

     “Technology now allows for a faster response time to aid someone experiencing heart problems,” said Parish President Kenny Matassa. “We want to make sure this technology is available in these buildings should the need arise.”

     The AEDs provide simple audio and visual commands and are designed for use by laypersons, said Tag Doss, an instructor with Lofton Flex Med. Dos said persons suspected of sudden cardiac arrest will have pads from the AED placed on strategic locations of their chest area by people who have been trained to use the defibrillator. By following audible instructions, the AED will take measurements of a person’s heart, determine what action is needed, and notify the person assisting. The patient is able to be treated by defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.