Wake County is implementing a public access defibrillation program (PAD), starting with high-rise County facilities. High-rise structures are defined as buildings with five or more floors. Mid-rise structures are buildings with three to four floors.
"Time is the problem," according to Brent Myers, medical director for the Wake County EMS System. "The longer your heart is in cardiac arrest without CPR or defibrillation, the less likely you are to survive.
"Even if the ambulance gets to the building in five minutes, because of the height of the building, it may take another 5 minutes to get to the patient, and that's just too long. Having AEDs strategically located in high-rise buildings is the only answer."
Wake County's goal is to have an AED at the patient in five minutes. To accomplish this, they are placing AEDs on every floor ending in 5 or 0, beginning with the entry level for high-rise structures. Mid-rise structures would have AEDs placed on the highest floor. They are also planning to train 10 people per building in CPR and how to use the AED.
Wake County EMS challenges all high-rise buildings in Wake County to adopt the "Wake 5 & 10" program. For assistance or questions on how to develop a PAD program, contact EMS Training Chief Don Garner, Jr.