On Aug. 31, the Blair Police Department and Fire Department both received new AED's through a grant from the Health Resources Services Administration. The Friendship Fire Department also received an AED, along with the Olustee Fire Department, as well.
"These are devices that can literally give the gift of life," Henry said. "It's important that we distribute these throughout the state of Oklahoma."
Currently, Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for deaths due to cardiovascular disease. The AED will help restore a normal heart rhythm by an electric current. Once the rhythm is monitored it can determine if defibrillation is needed and if so, the amount of shock needed. The shock is then given through the chest wall.
"The machines are really easy to use," said Shawn Rogers, Emergency Medical Services Division director. "It will not shock a live person."
Rogers, who works for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said AEDs do not require the operator to have a medical background, unlike the manual defibrillators used in hospitals.
The first automated prompt an AED gives is to call for help. The operator then peels off plastic tape from the back of two pads and places them on each side of the exposed chest. Then to deliver a shock, a flashing button is pressed when prompted. The operator is told to stand-by and not to touch the patient. Three shocks can be delivered, if necessary, to allow time for qualified personnel to arrive and continue with CPR.
"I want to encourage all Oklahomans to take the time to train in CPR," Henry said. "Once you train in CPR, you will also learn how to use the defibrillator."
State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher said after eight minutes of a cardiac arrest, the chances for success decreased.
The mobile defibrillators cost approximately $1,000, which is one of the reasons for an increase in units distributed this year.
Rogers said many communities and businesses are now buying AEDs to place in their own facilities.
"They're not as common as fire extinguishers, but we'd like them to be," Rogers said.