PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – “In a Heartbeat Inc” and “AED Advocacy” donated an automated external defibrillator, otherwise known as an AED, to the Phenix City Shrine Club. 

They donated a fully operational AED unit and cabinet, which can be used to extend life if someone’s heart electrical activity is disrupted. The device analyzes the heart’s rhythm and can deliver an electrical shock to help the heart return to its effective rhythm. 

“We think the impact could be very great here,” Jeff Johnson, Treasurer of Phenix City Shrine Club, said. “We have over 15,000 people per year who come to the Phenix City Shrine Club.” We have had some visitors who have had a medical incident.”

According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. Currently, the only way to restore regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED. 

“Sometimes upon caseload there could be a 15 to 20 minute lead time before EMTs can arrive,” Johnson said. “The AEC being here on site can be the difference between life and death for someone.”

The Shrine Club currently has about 110 people showing up for Bingo due to the COVID, but in non-pandemic times they typically averaged around 175 to 200 people. Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, so the Shrine Club now will have the tools to respond quickly to these emergencies.