Officials at South Carolina’s State Park Service say they now have defibrillators on-hand in each of their 47 parks across the state, finishing a campaign that was designed to have the lifesaving devices at properties that are often isolated and far from emergency help.
Park Service director Phil Gaines said grants from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and the state’s chapter of the American College of Cardiologists helped provide $55,000 to buy the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
The devices are meant as an emergency aid whenever an individual suffers a heart attack. It sends an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm and can sometimes revive a victim before EMS arrives.
“About eight million people visit state parks annually, and a lot of them are involved in some strenuous activity like hiking, biking or canoeing,” he said. “We wanted to improve our ability to respond to a medical emergency if necessary.”
Several local hospitals and rescue units have made donations. The South Carolina Hospital Association helped publicize the AED campaign and an Eagle Scout in Pawleys Island also helped raise money to buy two AEDs for local parks.