The Snoqualmie Tribe donated 200 automated external defibrillator (AED) units to local safety and government organizations.
Members of the tribe presented several AED devices to Eastside Fire and Rescue and to City of North Bend at North Bend Station 87 at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
The tribe donated the devices after Councilmember Richard Zambrano heard on the radio that the previous King County Sheriff was asking for donations for their department to purchase AED units for the officers.
“The Sheriff told a story about one of his officers that pulled over a car and when he went up to the car, he saw a man hunched over the steering wheel. When the officer woke the man up, the man jumped out of the car and attacked the officer and beat him up,” Zambrano said. “The officer had called for backup and when they arrived, the officer didn’t get up. One of those officers had an AED with him and was able to save his life.”
The story prompted Zambrano and Snoqualmie Tribe Chief of Police Gene Fenton to present the idea of donating AED devices to local emergency responders to the Tribal Council.
“We thought it was a great idea for the tribe to help out and continue to give back to the community,” chairman Bob DeLosangeles said.
AED units are portable devices that check the heart rhythm and send an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.
Fenton said the tribe has donated about 200 AED units to local organizations.
“We originally donated 150 devices to the King County Sheriff’s Department and we continued to get more requests for the device,” Fenton said. “We decided to donate additional AEDs to Snoqualmie Police Department, Eastside Fire and Rescue, Snoqualmie Fire Department, King County Search and Rescue, one to North Bend City Hall, one for the North Bend Library, and 10 for the University of Washington.”
Additionally, the tribe’s health clinic donated Narcan nasal spray to go with each AED. Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, including heroin and other opioid painkillers. It works by neutralizing the opioids in a person’s system and helping them breathe again.
“What happens with opioids is that the person who overdoses loses the drive to breathe. This nasal spray wakes the person up just like you were waking someone up from a diabetic coma — they just basically snap out of it,” Eastside Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Richard Burke said. “Approximately 60,000 thousand people died last year in the United States from an opioid overdose. Narcan is safe to give and there is no downside to giving it. We are very grateful to the tribe for their donations. The impact they are making is incredible.”
Zambrano said it is all about working together and helping the community when and where the tribe can.
“Police Officers and Firefighters help people every day and we wanted to do our part to give back and help save lives,” he said.