No EMT training necessary to use automated defibrillators

To the editor: Wait a minute. Los Angles County removed the city of Compton's automated external defibrillators (AEDs) from fire trucks because a quarter of its firefighters weren't certified as emergency medical technicians? ("Setting a California standard for EMT certification in fire departments," Aug. 6)

"Automated" means that these devices are designed to be used by just about anyone who can breathe because they automatically determine whether a jolt is needed and otherwise don't administer the treatment. Ever been to an airport or gym or city hall? AEDs are everywhere and intended to be used by a layperson.

Removing the AEDs from Compton fire trucks just puts more people at risk and could cause actual harm. In fact, there could even be a situation in which a Compton firefighter has to stand there and watch as a good Samaritan grabs an AED from a nearby building and administers treatment.

Maybe the firefighter could help by shouting, "Clear!" Or perhaps not: After all, not every Compton firefighter has been trained for that.

Matt Thurber, Marina del Rey

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