City Council To Vote On Possible Rebate For Heart-Saving Devices
Nov 21, 2014 09:58AM
● By Karen Holt Bennion
Battalion Chief Wayne Edington holds an AED at the city’s fire station #61 on 10758 South Redwood Road.
Suppose you’re in a grocery store, a dentist’s office or your local gym and suddenly felt a pain in your chest, shoulder or throat? Since symptoms of cardiac arrest vary with each individual, you could be experiencing a heart attack and not even know it.
Fortunately, if it happened in South Jordan, many businesses would have the equipment on hand to help you.
Since 2008, South Jordan City has mandated that certain businesses carry an automated external defibrillator at their own expense. Any type of business that has an occupancy rate of 150 people or more per day must acquire one. The policy has had a 100 percent compliance rate so far.
However, at that time, current-Mayor David Alvord wasn’t too keen on purchasing the unit using his own funds from his dental practice. He felt that there should be a way for him and other local business owners to obtain the devices without having to do so out of their own pockets.
Now, Alvord has been at the forefront of coming up with an ordinance that will be up for a vote by the end of the year.
In December the South Jordan City Council will vote on an ordinance that would make obtaining an AED more affordable by offering a full rebate with each purchase.
Alvord thinks that’s a great idea.
“This rebate program promises to keep the program strong by funding it through the city. Or, put differently, an unfunded mandate is now a funded mandate,” he said.
Alvord and Fire Chief Chris Evans believe other businesses will appreciate the rebate as well. The city is expecting new businesses to get on board with buying the life-saving devices.
“Actually, the idea for the rebate came from the mayor, before he was the mayor,” Evans said. “He’s always been concerned about our government’s unfunded mandates.”
Evans thinks the ordinance will be approved unanimously, and will be a positive factor in getting future South Jordan businesses on board with owning the portable life savers.
AEDs are lightweight, and, with the proper training, anybody can to use them. They can check the heart rhythm, and, if needed, can send an electric shock wave directly to the heart in order to gain a normal heartbeat. It can be a much-needed partner in aiding CPR until paramedics arrive.
South Jordan is currently contracting with Zoll AED Plus, to provide the AEDs and will sell these devices at its wholesale rate to the businesses.
AEDs can cost from $1,175 to $1,400, with batteries costing close to $150. Batteries are usually replaced every five years. (The rebate may not cover the cost of new batteries and accessories.)
Funding for the rebates could come from the city’s ambulance revenue, which currently has a surplus. Even businesses that have already purchased an AED will have a window that will allow them to apply for the rebate as well. (The timeline for requesting a rebate and its funding mechanism will be confirmed at a future city council meeting.)
The rebate will not only be available to businesses, residents will also have an opportunity to purchase an AED. Free training for using the machine will be offered through the South Jordan Fire Department, as it has been in the past.
South Jordan council members were in agreement about the rebate at the city’s Oct. 21 work session.
“I think we’re all in agreeance that this will be a positive thing for the city,” Councilmember Steve Barnes said.
Evans thinks the rebate would be another great step in preventing cardiac arrests from being fatal.
“This has saved more than a dozen lives since it was mandated,” he said. “With the proper funding and training, more and more people will be able to stop an arrest from progressing further.”