Five new automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) were received by the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) in late December.
The fire department had received a $7,400 grant from the Fallbrook Healthcare District in late summer for the five new AEDs.
“It was a little bit of a process and a lot of paperwork to do, but they were very helpful and awarded us the grant,” said Rainbow VFD fire chief Bruce Fried.
The new AEDs will replace the department’s five AEDs which are approximately 10 years old. “They still function,” Fried said of the older AEDs. “We will look for a place to probably keep a couple of our old ones as spares.”
While the older AEDs can still be used, the newer ones utilize more modern technology. “They use a different battery setup, which is actually less expensive for us,” Fried said.
The gel pads on the new AEDs have a shelf life of approximately four years, while the pads on the older models are generally replaced after about a year. “If we don’t use the AEDs for a while the pads will stay good for much longer,” Fried said.
The less expensive battery replacements and the longer pad shelf life will reduce maintenance costs. “It will definitely save us money in the long run,” Fried said.
The model acquired by the fire department is also used by several local ambulance companies. “They’re very easy to use,” Fried said.
Fried will be retiring from the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department on Jan. 19. His final action will be a training session that day for the new AEDs. Fried noted that the new AEDs will require a change in training procedures but not a complicated one. “It was minor. AEDs are meant to be simple,” Fried said. “AEDs are meant to be very easy to operate.”