AED’s shifted on SUNY campuses

In the past few months and the months to follow, a number of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units on the Oswego State campus will be pulled from residence halls and academic buildings.

As of April 2, The Environmental Health and Safety department has taken down 13 AED units from residence halls and academic buildings so far this year, returning them to Albany where they are redistributed to other universities across New York state, according to Fire Marshal Tim Ganey.

The number of AED units on campus will decrease from 92 to 60, a 34.8 percent decline. The reason for the decline lies in state law Title 9 NYCRR that requires an AED to be in a position close to a trained professional that is no further than three minutes away. Ganey determined that a trained professional could make his or her way from the main lobby of a residence hall to the top floor within the three minute time limit through a series of test runs.

There are roughly 300 trained professionals on campus, most of which are faculty and staff. Students who work at the fitness centers or as R.A.’s may also be trained to use the AED units.

When all of the proposed AED units have been removed from the campus, each residence hall will have one unit located in the residence hall’s main lobby. Even the residence halls that encompass nine or 10 floors will have the same number of AED units as residence halls that encompass only three or four floors.

Ganey, who is responsible for setting up the AED units, said that the cost of one unit is roughly $1,650, but the cost did not factor into the decision to pull a number of AED units from campus.

"We don’t put a dollar amount on safety," Ganey said.

As a result, three AED units will be pulled from Onondaga and Seneca, two AED units will be pulled from Funnelle and Hart and one AED unit will be pulled from Cayuga, Johnson, Mahar, Oneida, Poucher, Sheldon and Tyler.

Jean Grant, director of health services at Mary Walker Health Center, used to be in charge of the AED program and had to make sure that a trained professional examined them at least once a month.

"It’s very complicated to make sure that every single one of these machines is working properly," Grant said. "You also have to be on top of when one of the machines is not working properly and to make sure there is coverage in that particular building."

Grant said that the lifespan of an AED unit is roughly eight or nine years with the batteries being good for three years and the pads themselves being good for two years before having to be replaced.

Three additional units were sent to trainers in Laker Hall, and both the SAVAC chief and assistant chief were issued an additional unit to have in their vehicles.

While an AED unit installed in a residence hall or academic building has never been used before, Rossi said that U.P. has had to use their AED units before.

An AED unit, like all defibrillators, is not designed to shock "flat line" victims back to life. A heart rhythm is required for an AED unit to have any affect on the victim.