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NF Auxiliary Buys Defibrillator For Cal Fire Station

NORTH FORK – While it’s not really their mission to purchase equipment for stations other than Madera County Fire Department Station 11, the North Fork Fire Department Auxiliary voted unanimously at their December meeting to spend nearly $2,500 to buy an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) for the Rancheria Cal Fire Station on Road 200.

Many Cal Fire Stations do not have AEDs on their engines, and some that do have outdated equipment for which replacement pads will no longer be available when supplies in stock run out. In order to ensure that all local firefighters are able to provide North Fork area residents with the best emergency response available, the Auxiliary chose to use some of their resources to equip their local Cal Fire engines with this life-saving device.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., says the American Red Cross.

“Over 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year. It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and at any age. An AED is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background.”

Time is of the essence. The Red Cross says the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes.

“For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced approximately 10 percent.”

After a recent incident where a life was saved by the crew on Rancheria’s Cal Fire Engine 4255 — using an AED provided when the Auxiliary purchased new equipment for Station 11 and donated their older one to the Rancheria station — Auxiliary members determined that this purchase was in line with their mission to ensure the very best service to the citizens who rely on local first responders and support the Auxiliary year after year.

“We’re all in this together,” said one Auxiliary member. “Someone having a heart attack doesn’t care which agency’s engine arrives first. They only care that those first responders have what they need to save a life.”

The entire purchase includes the AED, a carrying case and an extra set of pads. The total expenditure was $2492.85.

The North Fork Fire Department Auxiliary meets the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the CDC conference room at the Old Mill Site.

Anyone wishing to support Station 11 is encouraged to contact Sandy at 559-877-7796 or email c.chaille@netptc.net. You can also order reflective address signs so that first responders can find you quickly when you call for help. With the long hours of darkness during the winter months, it’s more important than ever to make sure your house number is clearly visible.

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