Do. Co. EMS gets technology upgrade

Automates External Defibrillator

Local emergency management officials told the Dougherty County Commissioners that they are receiving upgrades in two important areas â" defibrillators and technology in ambulances.

The department received five AED's or Automatic External Defibrillators from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and a grant. EMS Director Bobby Tripp says it's important to have the machines in strategic locations over the county in case of cardiac arrest. "When someone goes into cardiac arrest, the initial rhythm is ventricular fibrulation and the only treatment for that is electrical shock and that's what these machines do. They can save someone's life" says Tripp.

A larger grant from the State EMS Office and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety focuses on ambulance technology. Technology upgrades will include gps so dispatchers can reroute the closest ambulance to an emergency, and a wireless system for electronic reporting. That system will enable medics to look up drugs they are unfamiliar with so they can best treat the patient.

Officials say all ambulance upgrades will be done by January 1, 2011.