Carroll College recently announced that, thanks to generous donations, it is installing Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) throughout campus. The installation of the devices and training of college emergency responders to use them was made possible by a gift of approximately $25,000 from Carroll board of trustees member Shaun Corette and his wife Mary Ann Corette of Chevy Chase, Md. The AEDs were supplied to the campus at manufacturer's cost by Carroll alumnus Glenn Bliss, the president of General Distributing Company, a Great Falls medical supply vendor. Bliss partnered with Carroll College in the past by donating a ventilator/compressor system valued at $20,000 for use in the Carroll Nursing Department lab.
In all, Carroll now has fifteen AED units, with one installed in every major campus building and a roaming unit for use by emergency responders employed by the college. An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layman, and the use of AEDs is taught in many first aid, first responder and basic life support (BLS) level CPR classes.
"We are always concerned for the safety of our students, employees, and guests on our campus. Mr. and Mrs. Corette's gift of AEDs improves our ability to assist others when a health challenge arises," says Tom McCarvel, Carroll's vice president for community relations.
This project began with a student government initiative last spring. The Associated Students of Carroll College's executive officers Patrick Manning (a spring 2009 graduate), Blair Parker, Lani Franks-Ongoy and Jimmer Natwick researched and wrote a proposal asking the school to purchase the AEDs. The students presented their proposal to the college board of trustees during its spring 2009 meeting on campus.
"The officers expressed how important AEDs are to our school, using personal testimony from a near-death experience Patrick Manning had with a teacher in his high school," Parker says. "The board was very sensitive to this request, and agreed to see what they could do for us."