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Defibrillator machine
sought for use by school

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

Platte City officials are checking into the possibility of helping make a potential lifesaving device available to the Platte County R-3 School District.

Gary Brown, member of the Platte City Board of Aldermen, recently spearheaded the idea of placing a defibrillator machine at Platte County High School. The defibrillator, used to "shock" the heart of persons in cardiac arrest, would be available for use by the entire school system.

Since the idea was generated, Platte City Police Chief Joseph McHale has been responsible for getting prices and investigating funding for the defibrillator.

McHale said that he has looked at two defibrillator machines from SOS Technologies in Shawnee Mission, Kan.

The Zoll Automatic External Defibrillator Plus averages a cost of $2,395 for each unit.

The second machine is Medtronic Lifepak CR Plus Defibrillator. The estimated cost is $2,500 for each unit. The power pack on the defibrillator costs between $200 to $250 and must be replaced after each use.

Estimates on Oxygen Trauma Units have also been priced by McHale. Cost is $450 per year with a two year agreement.

Training would also be required for the defibrillator. Cost for a four hour class is $325.

"Right now we are looking for the resources available to fund it," McHale said.

McHale said currently it is questionable how many defibrillators will be purchased or which defibrillator will be purchased.

The defibrillators, according to McHale, average the size of a laptop computer.

Defibrillators have already been purchased and are implemented in several Kansas City area schools.

Park Hill and Leavenworth, Kan., are among the many schools that have defibrillators.

Smithville and North Kansas City are in the process of obtaining defibrillators.

Platte County High School Principal Craig Robinson said he fully supports the idea of having a defibrillator in the schools.

"I think it would be great. We have been talking about it for awhile," Robinson said. "They have got them now that with very little training anyone can save a life."

The push for a defibrillator locally comes on the heels of a basketball referee's life being saved following a heart attack he suffered during a game at Rockhurst.