By M.A. Ferguson-Rich
Special to the Beacon Journal
HUDSON: The city may add a software program that could shorten the response times to heart-related emergency calls.
EMS Outreach and city EMS Director Bruce Graham has proposed adding the program that monitors and locates automated external defibrillators (AEDs).
The program is run by Florida-based Atrus Inc. At a recent City Council meeting, CEO Elliott Fisch presented the services that are offered for about $950 per year.
The software is added to the 911 system and monitors the location and status of AED devices that are registered with the city by their owners.
When a call is made indicating that a person has collapsed and is unresponsive, the software locates the closest registered device and transmits the location to EMS personnel. The goal is to get a working AED to the stricken person within the shortest time possible.
EMS Outreach has agreed to fund the software and service for two years, and did not rule out funding beyond that point. The outreach organization was created in 2010 to fund projects, raise public awareness, and otherwise support Hudson EMS.
After the presentation, the council indicated its willingness to accept the gift.
Atrus’ service includes notifying AED owners of maintenance issues, such as when a battery is about to expire. Fisch made a point about that service when he told the council that the AED located just outside its meeting room at Town Hall had device pads that expired in November. The city would have been notified of that expiration.
Graham asked the council to consider legislation that would have required all AED devices in the city to be registered with Atrus, but the consensus of the council seemed to be that legislating registration was not a good idea.
Council President Hal DeSaussure and councilman David Basil both voiced concern that fear of liability or violation of the law might deter local businesses, churches, and others from purchasing a device.
As an alternative, EMS Outreach said it will start an initiative to get more local businesses to purchase AEDs, and offer them at discount prices contingent on registering them with Atrus.
Basil said he approved of offering “a carrot, rather than a stick.”