To start of the week, Polk County got a much-needed donation during the Commission’s work session on Monday for devices that can help save lives in public spaces.

Redmond Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Service group officially handed over five Automated External Defibrillators to the Polk County Commission for use in the Polk County Courthouses and the County Administration offices in Cedartown.

The EMS service will also provide training to courthouse and county administrative employees to ensure they know how to use the devices that ultimately help keep people in cardiac arrest from dying before medical personnel can arrive to help.

“We’re doing this in conjunction with Heart Month,” Redmond EMS director Marty Robinson said. “Redmond undertakes a lot of useful initiatives during the month in order to keep our community heart healthy, and this was one area we knew was needed.”

He said he knew of several cases in Redmond EMS’ service area — which includes Polk, Floyd and Chattooga counties — where AEDs have played a critical role in keeping patients suffering from heart attacks and other cardiac events alive.

“These people get in distress and they’ve been shocked, stimulated a heartbeat, and after they’ve been taken to the hospital and treated, they’re doing well,” Robinson said. “Access to those AEDs can literally save a life.”

He added that training to use the devices during a crisis is recommended, but isn’t necessary to use an AED.

They are designed in such a way that once turned on, it tells users how to apply electrodes and provide lifesaving treatment.

Robinson’s hopes are the devices will never be needed in the courthouses and county administration buildings, but they’ll be there in just in case.

“Thousands of people go through the courthouses each year, and it is always a stress-filled area,” he said. “We want to make sure they have access to AEDs.”

Along with the units and the training, the county also gets the wall mounting boxes to store the AEDs when not in use.