COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - A mapping system that's designed to save lives is launching in Collier County. In the past, someone in cardiac arrest would have to wait for EMS to arrive to get help, but now, new legislation is changing that.
House Bill 801, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) and Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) went into effect July 1st. This new legislation will now all 911 dispatchers to see critical information that could save valuable minutes in an emergency.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are currently in more than 700 Collier County businesses. In the past, when someone went into cardiac arrest, HIPPA laws prevented 911 dispatchers from notifying AED owners an emergency was happening nearby.
"It seemed like the silliest thing. We have 6 AEDs at Quail Creek and more than 60 people trained on staff to respond and no one would have been notified to know those AEDs were there," says Kate Kerwin, the club fitness director at Quail Creek Country Club.
Kerwin was instrumental in changing legislation to allow third parties to bring an AED to the scene.
"We can arrive 10-15 minutes faster than an ambulance because we're right on campus," says Kerwin.
The new legislation now allows Collier County dispatchers to find the nearest AED through an automated system.
Dr. Robert Tober, the Collier County EMS Medical Director says, "we are hoping people with an AED for instance in their office building could take in 500 or 1,000 feet to the scene of a cardiac arrest."
Any business or person with an AED who wants to help will need to register online at one of two places. You can go to www.nationalaedregistry.com or www.colliergov.net.
"The 911 dispatcher who is busy taking a call will immediately have a screen flash saying 600 feet away is an AED at a certain business, they will automatically be notified to bring that AED to the scene of that cardiac arrest," says Dr. Tober.
Because, everyone knows, minutes, even seconds matter during a cardiac arrest.
"You have zero to four seconds to basically make a difference, four to six minutes they'll have some sort of brain damage. Six to ten minutes they will probably have brain damage, and after that, they're not going to be with us," explains Kerwin.