(August 3, 2017) Many of Tampa International Airport’s newly enhanced services and amenities are readily apparent and pleasing to the eye, but there is one recent upgrade that, hopefully, you may never see. TPA recently installed the latest technology in automated external defibrillators, or AED machines. AED machines are electronic devices that can be connected to someone in cardiac distress and provide a bystander with no medical background the necessary coaching and tools to administer potentially life-saving assistance until paramedics can arrive.
Tampa International Airport recently purchased and installed 36 Cardiac Science G5 fully-automatic bi-lingual (English and Spanish) AED machines. The G5 models, a far cry from the original AEDs that were installed in the Airport in 2001, provide the latest in technology and are the first bi-lingual machines to become publicly accessible.
There are 30 AED machines located throughout the airport, including on all levels of the Main Terminal, all four active Airsides, employee common areas, Airport Police patrol vehicles, and other locations around the airfield and general aviation airports. Six new machines were added for use by the Airport Fire Department’s bike medics who also patrol the campus and are on hand for many of the Airport’s special events where large crowds are present.
The G5 model allows rescuers to toggle back and forth between English and Spanish instructions with a simple flip of a switch. All of the instructions in the corresponding language are simultaneously displayed as text on a screen, making the machines ADA-compliant and easy to confirm instructions, even in noisy public settings.
The new machines also feature iCPR pad technology which senses movements and allows the rescuer to be “coached” on correct CPR procedures. Once the pads are placed on the victim, the machine begins to assess the victim’s condition and may instruct the rescuer to begin CPR or stand back so that an electric shock can be administered. If the rescuer is performing CPR incorrectly, the AED will coach them on the speed and strength of compressions.
Rob Williams, Senior Area Manager for Cardiac Science, worked with the Airport Fire Department and explained the new technology.
“These units represent the latest technology in AED machines,” said Williams. “They are designed to be operated by almost anyone, even someone with no medical background or training. The instructions are clear and the device won’t even go onto the next step until the previous step has been properly completed.”
With nearly 19 million annual passengers, along with thousands of visitors and employees using TPA every day, Airport Fire Chief Danny Olegario said, these devices will inevitably be put to use.
“These new AED machines clearly represent the Airport’s commitment to the safety of passengers, employees and visitors,” said Olegario. “This not only is an enhancement in customer service, this is an upgrade that can save lives.”