As a result of a $22,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation, the Southern Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Education Centers will now have life-saving heart defibrillators.
The eight Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) will be placed in learning centers in Gadsden, Sunland Park and Chaparral. The AEDs will allow DACC employees and students to provide life-saving measures until emergency units can arrive in the case of a cardiac event.
In Doña Ana County the average ambulance response time is 10.5 minutes causing a delay in the ability for paramedics to reach cardiac victims. For every minute without CPR or defibrillation, the chances of a cardiac arrest victim’s survival decrease by up to 10 percent.
“There is a limited amount of time that heart attack victims can survive without treatment,” said Ann Bellows, department head of the DACC Emergency Management Training program. “These AED units will increase the odds of someone recovering from a heart event in these remote locations. It is also imperative that Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) be used in conjunction with the defibrillators. We are looking to help find CPR training as well.”
Training will be provided for learning center staff on the use of the machines so they can train other staff on how to properly use the AEDs.
“We are in the process of planning the implementation of these units in the learning centers,” said DACC Facilities Services Manager Michael Luchau. “Students, faculty and staff need to feel they are in a safe environment in order to learn, and teach. These units will provide some peace of mind for those at the facilities and for visitors at our Southern Doña Ana County locations.”
The units will be placed in areas easily accessible by employees and students.
Union Pacific has provided several grants to DACC beginning in 2012. These funds have provided needed resources for students seeking education at the southern county learning centers.
This will be a pilot project for DACC with plans to implement similar systems in all facilities over the next several years.