By Jean Cole
An Athens man had a heart attack at Athens High School in February but, prudently, the school had a piece of equipment on hand that helped saved his life.
Strangers and first responders witnessed the man’s collapse and rushed to his aid, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and applying an automatic defibrillator located inside the school.
This week, Athens Fire Chief Tony Kirk announced during a City Council meeting that his department received nine new automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, which are designed for use by those who may not know how to use a defibrillator. The AEDs will replace older models, Kirk said. Two of the nine will be placed at the Sportsplex off U.S. 31 and the rest will remain with the city’s Fire Department, the chief said.
To pay for the equipment, state Rep. Dan Williams, R-Athens, and Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, used $11,025 of the money the Tennessee Valley Authority pays Limestone County each year rather than paying taxes. Some of the TVA money has been set aside for members of the local legislative delegation to distribute where they see a need.
New AEDs are also coming soon to the Limestone County senior centers. On Sept. 6, members of the legislative delegation will give AEDs to all of the senior centers in the county during a presentation at East Limestone Senior Center at the corner of McCulley Mille and Nick Davis roads.