Eldridge Electric and Water Utilities has outfitted two of its utility trucks with Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, to enable utility crews to respond to an emergency immediately.
The portable medical devices — capable of delivering an electric shock through the chest to the heart — were purchased by a $2,074 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority and a match from the utilities. With the lightweight, portable AEDs, utility workers will be able to deliver a shock to a person in cardiac arrest and potentially stop an irregular heart beat and allow a normal rhythm to resume.
"In our industry, it is common practice to have these on utility trucks," said Jacob Rowe, Eldridge's line crew leader. The equipment, he said would allow crews to assist either a fellow utility worker or a resident in need. "We're around the public a lot."
The utility's two bucket trucks have been equipped with the devices, which cost nearly $4,000. Rowe said utility staff have trained on such devices for years as part of their cardio pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, training.
His staff has never had the need to use an AED. "I hope we never do," he added.
All of Eldridge's city buildings are equipped with AEDs, but these are the first city trucks to carry them, the city said.
"These devices are the latest addition to the utilities' program of providing the safest possible working environment for its employees," City Administrator John Dowd said thanking the SCRA's partnership.