New tool at Si View pool to save lives

The slightly robotic voice calmly narrates commands.

"Remove the patient's shirt ... attach the paddles."

Step-by-step the machine tells the user how to save a life by re-starting the heart. For now, the red plastic box hangs on the wall by the Si View Community Center and Pool's pool office, ready for the moment when it's needed.

Last week, Philips Medical Systems donated the approximately $4,000 device to the Si View Metropolitan Park District. The company manufactures the Headstart FRX automated external defibrillator (AED) it gave to the park district.

"It's a big deal, it saves lives," said Bridget O'Connell, Si View aquatics coordinator.

In the event of heart failure, one of the 11 trained pool staff members will be able to retrieve the device and attach it to the patient to help revive the person's heart. The machine is the same device used by paramedics. Basically, it reads the patient's vital signs and applies an electric charge, if needed.

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