AUTHOR: PERILL

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For information on automated external defibrillators, contact the American Heart Association at (662) 323-7178.

HED:Franklin Corp. installs lifesaving device

By Gary Perilloux

Daily Journal

HOUSTON Franklin Corp. has installed a lifesaving device aimed at reviving victims of cardiac arrest as quickly as possible.

The automated external defibrillator, known as an AED, can be applied to the chest of a cardiac victim and deliver a shock to revive the victim in as little as 15 seconds.

The American Heart Association honored the Houston furniture manufacturer on Monday with a certificate and a red flag for raising awareness of the lifesaving technology.

"To our knowledge, this is the first furniture company (to install an AED)," said Janet Gurley, a representative of Complient, a Tennessee-based company that distributes AEDs.

"We promote health in our company of employees, but if their health should deteriorate to the point where they would need this, we'll be prepared to take care of them," Franklin's Jerry Gravat said.

Gravat, who's the health and worker's compensation coordinator for Franklin Corp., said the company has taken an active role in improving the health of its 1,650 employees.

An arrangement with North Mississippi Health Services and its Chickasaw Family Medical Center subsidiary allows Franklin Corp. to have a nurse practitioner and a nurse on site each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to examine and treat employees on company time.

Franklin officials said the $3,000 AED would be installed on the company's 75-acre site so that all employees could be reached in less than two minutes with the lifesaving device. Employees are being trained so that someone on each shift will have ready knowledge of using the device.

Using an AED does not guarantee saving a life, but it greatly enhances the odds of saving someone.

"In the last two years, we're really seeing an education process (about the AEDs), which is a real positive," Gurley said. "There have been so many lives saved."

In 1998, The Mall at Barnes Crossing became the first mall in the region to install an AED. Casinos have installed the devices and reported a 54-percent success rate in rescuing cardiac victims. And Chicago's O'Hare International Airport installed AEDs at one-minute intervals on its premises, resulting in 11 of 13 lives being saved in the last year, Gurley said.

"This is something we hope we never have to use," company President Hassell Franklin said. "But we'll be prepared if we do."

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