Author: Simone Soublet
Published: 8:33 PM EDT October 25, 2023
Updated: 8:33 PM EDT October 25, 2023

MACON, Ga. — You might feel safer sending your kids to school now that Bibb County schools have new life-saving equipment.

An AED is a portable device used to help people going into sudden cardiac arrest and the school district bought 72 new ones that staff can use in case of emergency.

Bibb County schools were granted $195,000 and bought the new devices. Each high school will have three, the middle schools will get two new ones and each elementary will get one.

Bernd Elementary School principal Chad Thompson hasn't had to use the older one they have on-site, but he understands the process if an emergency happens.

"It is beneficial for the entire school program," Thompson said. "They're very easy to use. They are automated, it tells you step by step what you need to do when you open up the AED."

David Gowan is the Director of Safety and Risk Management for Bibb County schools. He walked through how it works along with the CPR chest compressions.

"It's usually going to take the use of an AED device to restart someone's heart," Gowan said. "So you have initial analysis, shock, two minutes of CPR and then a second shock. You'll repeat the process with two more minutes of CPR and then the third shock."

It comes with a rescue-ready kit that includes scissors, a razor, gauze, CPR masks, alcohol wipes, bandages and more. In the end, a little white box with three little letters is an insurance plan that folks hope they never have to use.

"It adds a layer of protection, it adds a layer of calmness for the individuals' parents to know that this technology is available in these schools. That we don't have to wait on an ambulance to arrive," Thompson said.

It could come as a relief to some families, knowing that help is close by.

"I'm glad you're doing this story so the parents know we have them in every school building," Gowan said.

Gowan says the AEDs are more likely to benefit the adults in the schools due to their age and likeliness of developing heart disease.

It's About Life!