Riverside Township recently provided a $3,050 grant to the North Riverside Fire Department to cover the cost of purchasing two Phillips Heart Smart Automated External Defibrillator (AED) devices. 

The AEDs have been deployed on the department’s two front-line fire vehicles and replace defibrillators that are 12 years old, according to Fire Chief Bran Basek. The manufacturer of the old devices is no longer in business and parts are unobtainable.

Firefighters who respond to serious paramedic calls can use the AED automatically assess the patient’s heart rhythm and is designed to deliver an electrical shock to the heart. Early defibrillation by first responders has been shown to improve survival, said Basek.