COLUMBIA – South Carolina’s State Park Service has wrapped up its campaign to put a heart defibrillator at all 47 park locations after receiving significant grants from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and the South Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiologists.
In all, South Carolina State Parks received grants and donations worth more than $55,000 to buy the AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators.)
“We are really grateful for all the support we received statewide when we launched this effort to put an AED in every state park,” said Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “About 8 million people visit state parks annually, and a lot of them are involved in some strenuous activity like hiking, biking or canoeing. We wanted to improve our ability to respond to a medical emergency if necessary.”
Several local hospitals and rescue units have made donations. The South Carolina Hospital Association helped publicize the AED campaign with state hospitals. An Eagle Scout in Pawleys Island also helped raise money to buy two AEDs for state parks.
“We applaud the prioritization that the State Parks staff have placed on obtaining AEDs for all of our parks this year,” said Melinda Merrell, Senior Program Director of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health. “We’re even more delighted that there was an opportunity to partner together to ensure that these critical, life-saving devices are available in rural and remote areas of South Carolina.”