Ameren Illinois is announcing that is equipping nearly 240 trucks, including three in Jacksonville, with Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs.
The power company has now installed these potentially life-saving machines on 239 Ameren Illinois trucks across central and southern Illinois as part of their commitment to workplace safety.
Senior Director of Division Operations for Ameren Illinois John Barud says the AEDs serve multiple purposes.
“They’re really two-fold, obviously the work we do is dangerous and hopefully this never happens, but if one of our workers happens to get in contact with an energized conductor, this is something that could be used on site while they’re waiting for EMS to respond. But they could also be used in the event that we had somebody that had a heart attack or a heart issue, so it would be used to supplement anything that might happen that’s work related, but also in a health-related type of incident,” says Barud.
Barud says another benefit to having AEDs aboard their trucks is that they can help during an emergency in rural areas .
“That’s really one of the advantages of them is that a lot of our facilities are kind of out in rural areas and not readily accessible by emergency services. So these AEDs could possibly make the difference between someone surviving or not surviving,” Barud says.
Barud explains that Ameren Illinois still wants to leave emergency situations in the hands of experts, however the AED devices are just one aspect of the company’s dedication to safety.
“One of the questions that comes up is ‘are we trying to become first responders for these type of issues,’ and that’s certainly not the intent. Our intent is to let the experts do their thing, but this is an important safety device that would enable us to hopefully make a difference. At Ameren Illinois we’re very focused on safety whether it’s this or other aspects of the work that we do and the safety of the public, so this is just one of many initiatives that we’re doing to make sure we keep safety a top priority,” says Barud.
According to the American Heart Association, people who go into cardiac arrest at work have only a 5-to-7 percent chance of surviving without an AED present and are forced to wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.