Those associated with Heart Safe Community gather around the newest automated external defibrillator to be installed in Quincy. The Safeway device is accessible 24 hours per day. From left: Darren Beatty, special project manager for Plumas District Hospital; Carson Wingfield, a special operations sergeant for the Plumas County Sheriff; Tina Venable, director of nursing for Plumas County Public Health; Pauline Rogers representing Safeway; Sam Blesse, a paramedic with Care Flight; and Lori Beatley a health education coordinator for public health. Photo by Debra Moore

Safeway is latest location to house lifesaving device

A location with 24-hour public access to lifesaving equipment ranked high on the list to receive an automated external defibrillator.

And with the device installed right inside its front door, Safeway employees learned how to use it. But the device is designed so that even those without training can competently administer aid to someone in cardiac arrest.

Sam Blesse, a Care Flight paramedic and one of the forces behind Quincy becoming a Heart Safe community, said Safeway was the perfect location.

“It’s open 24 hours and there were two cardiac arrest incidents here last year,” Blesse said, adding that one occurred in a store aisle and another in the parking lot.

An AED is an electronic device that can diagnose cardiac arrhythmias in a patient. Aside from diagnosing the heart rhythm, it can send an electric shock that halts the abnormal heart rhythm and stimulates the heart to produce normal cardiac patterns.

The AEDs that have been installed around town provide instructions with simple voice commands that walk its user through how to safely use the device on an individual suspected of experiencing cardiac arrest.

Quincy has been officially designated as a Heart Safe community, in part due to the AEDs. Heart Safe is an official designation, awarded to communities focused on heart health — from how first responders treat those in cardiac arrest, to the installation of defibrillators in public places, to teaching CPR, and improving the overall health of the area residents.

This map depicts the many locations throughout Quincy where AEDs have been installed. Map courtesy of the Plumas County Planning Department

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