AEDs in maintenance sheds help alleviate catastrophic health concerns         

Crews in the field routinely work several hours away from medical care. If an employee goes into cardiac arrest on the job in a remote location, their chance of survival can be slim. District 3 Safety Compliance Officer Eric Copeland proposed a solution to that exact circumstance: put AEDs in all district maintenance sheds.

Copeland also worked with the district engineer, trainer, supply and experts in the district to provide basic first aid and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to crews on each unit’s function and inspection.

AEDs, in conjunction with CPR, help restart the heart if administered when a person is going into cardiac arrest. ITD crews are already required to be CPR-certified as part of their job. Now they have access to another critical tool. Equipping crews with them completes the third link in the cardiac chain of survival.

Part of the idea also included building an informational campaign to reinforce the addition of “AED Bob” as their newest crew member and to remember to take Bob with the crew when they head out in the field for the day.

“It is my hope that these AED units will be in the field 20 years and never be needed or used by any of our folks,” Copeland said.

As of August 2017, District 3 has 24 new AED units in the field, as well as 10 training units of the same make and model available for the basic first aid and AED training.

In Boise’s Orchard maintenance shed, Transportation Tech Ron Manchester (pictured) is familiar and trained in using an AED. His knowledge of these life-saving devices goes to his years in the military prior to his 10 years of service with ITD.

“I really think this is a great addition, and one that has been talked about for some time,” Manchester said. “I am pleased that there was motivation by ITD to have these placed in each shed. Granted, they aren’t used often, but when they are, they can save a life.”

“It’s better for us to have made the investment to place these units in the field for our employees with the hope they are never used than to be standing at a coworker’s funeral asking why we didn’t,” Copeland added.

Published 08-25-17