Department of Parks
State Park Rangers Receive Life-Saving Devices
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky State Park rangers will have a new tool to assist park visitors who are stricken by heart attacks.
The parks are receiving 39 automatic external defibrillators to assist people who experience sudden cardiac arrest. The devices were funded through a federal grant with the assistance of the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services, which is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
“Our parks and rangers come in contact with thousands of people every year,” said Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller. “These devices will be there in case of an emergency to help save lives.”
According to the American Red Cross, 200,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest every year. An estimated 50,000 of these deaths could be prevented if a defibrillator were available.
A defibrillator, which cost about $3,000, delivers an electronic shock to the heart to restore cardiac rhythm to the heart.
State Park rangers determined these devices would serve as a rescue tool because most state parks are in remote areas. Sgt. Bryan Cole, a supervisor based at Fort Boonesborough State Park, contacted the board to seek help in funding.
The 39 devices will be kept at parks. The rangers and other park staff members will be trained to use the defibrillators as part of their annual first aid training, according to Col. Joey Hoover, who oversees the state park rangers.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov