What began last year as a concern over the lack of AEDs at the Jefferson County 4-H Fairgrounds, has developed into a strategy to have the life-saving devices available in governmental buildings throughout the county.
Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Morgan told County Commissioners at their meeting on Thursday that a need for at least 30 AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) has been identified for governmental facilities throughout the county.
“We put a work group together and everybody sees a need for a defibrillator in their area, and I don’t disagree with that,” Morgan said. “I think they should be in every room in every building. But financially, it would be a challenge to do that.”
With with the purchase of 30 AEDs, which Morgan estimated would cost approximately $57,000, the county could have at least one in each building. The Commissioners were in agreement with the purchase but the decision would still need approval of the Jefferson County Council.
Morgan said the timeline for delivery of the devices would be eight to 12 weeks which means that they would likely not arrive in time for this year’s Jefferson County 4-H Fair scheduled for July 7-14. He said the longer delivery time might be impacted by the high number of 30 AEDs the county hopes to order.
If only a couple of the devices were ordered initially, Morgan said they might could arrive within two weeks and be available prior to the fair. He thinks two of the devices could be purchased for about $2,200 each plus $200 per unit for a maintenance contract, and an overall estimated immediate cost of less than $5,000.
Morgan suggested one of the units could remain at the Community Building at the fairgrounds year round due to the number of activities that take place there with the other possibly being kept at the extension office or another location at the fairgrounds.
Morgan suggested the remaining AEDs could then be designated by County Council into the budget for next year and beyond.
The Commissioners concurred with Morgan’s assessment about purchasing two AEDs that would be available in time for the fair and delay purchasing more AEDs until later.
• Jefferson County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Faith Weir introduced Anita Sproessig as the assistant county VSO. “She’s been a huge asset to the office and a very big help,” said Weir. “I’m really happy that we were able to hire Anita and that I could train her as a true assistant county veterans assistant officer.”
Sproessig is a veteran who served in the Indiana National Guard.
Weir also presented a first quarter report for the veterans service office, noting there was a high number of recent visits to the office with 246 in-office appointments and 402 walk-in appointments. In February, she said there were 239 veterans in the office and in March, there were 207 veterans despite the office being closed several days for training in March. She said much of that is because of the PACE Act and the Camp Legeune Justice Act which both address exposure to toxic substances during military service.
• With a total solar eclipse scheduled for April 8, 2024, Morgan said the community emergency plan committee will be meeting in preparation for that event and the huge number of visitors that are expected to descend on the region to witness the event.
• Approved the amendment to the Unsafe Building Ordinance that is intended to better define procedures for the county for enforcement.
• Appointed Marilyn Imel to the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission, representing the town of Brooksburg, through the end of this year.
• Tricia Parker, animal shelter director, said the animal shelter has been approached about becoming a National Safe Place where a young person can go for help and wait in a comfortable place within 30 minutes of a qualified Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member arriving to assist.
“I just think it would be a great opportunity to help the community a little more by letting us be a Safe Place,” she said.
The Commissioners were in agreement on the value of offering that service, but want the county attorney to review for possible liability issues before final approval.
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