"We started this program five years ago," said Battalion Chief Mitch McKee of the Redlands Fire Department.
"We did it not because the city had a problem delivering medical care.The City of Redlands has always had one of the premier paramedic programs and this city has always been able to deliver the highest level of medical care.
"We wanted to have one of the most comprehensive (advanced life support) delivery in the county, and now no one can touch us."
Phase one of the program meant putting the $3,000 AEDs in every Police Department vehicle and in every Fire Department vehicle without a paramedic, said McKee
, noting that paramedics staff all but two Fire Department vehicles.
"It wasn't very long after that that we were able to implement phase two," McKee
Phase two put AEDs in Redlands High School
, Redlands East Valley High School
, the University of Redlands
, the Joslyn Center
and Redlands Community Senior Center
"Phase 3 is one of the most difficult elements to carry out," McKee
said about recruiting local retailers into the program."If I can place these in a retail position I have taken their employees and made them part of our team."
"You're saying, Make an investment By the way, there is going to be some level of liability carry that, too,'" according to McKee
What makes Redlands' AED program special is that it integrates so many institutions in the city, including private business, said McKee
"There are no other cities that have these in all these other locations in a way that the program is connected.You have retailers that buy these, but they're not connected to any program."Wal-Mart
learned about the program after approaching the Fire Department, McKee
, which consistently contributes to the Fire Department, called us and said, Our employees want to do something special.'"
suggested the store join the city's AED program, "They
, without hesitation, said, That's what we want to do,'" he
Both Mullins and McKee
stressed how AEDs in stores benefit seniors in the community.
has taken us to the next level," McKee
According to McKee
, AEDs have saved the lives of two people in Redlands so far.
"Why only two?Remember, you're in the City of Redlands and you have paramedics there very quickly," he
explained, nothing that the department's typical basic life support response time is three to five minutes.
"However, we were concerned about that three minutes, the first three to five minutes we're responding to the call," according to McKee
, explaining the push for more AEDs.
Within the next few months the city will have to replace all of its five-year-old units, but because an AED manufacturer is studying the Redlands program, the units will be available for half price.
"They have offered that price to all of our retailers," said McKee
, emphasizing the opportunity for large stores such as Kohl's, K-Mart and Target
to get in on the program at a reduced cost.
Participating in the program is a way for businesses to do a service to the entire community, especially one as tightly woven as Redlands, according to McKee
"When you lose a life, what do you impact?"he