UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 01, 2022

Campus seeks student funds for more defibrillators

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Dixie State College students might be seeing more defibrillators on campus in the next year.

J.D. Robertson, director of financial aid, brought forth a proposal to the DSC Student Association for 25 cents to be added to student fees each semester in order to add 20 more defibrillators on campus.

A defibrillator is a device that delivers a dose of electrical energy to a heart if it is experiencing an irregular heartbeat, quivering of the ventricles, or fast rhythm of one ventricle. 

Brandon Price, vice president of academics, said student leaders have put together their student fee recommendations to the executive staff and trustees, but nothing has been finalized yet. The 25 cent increase for defibrillators is included in the recommendation, which will be presented in a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

A 25 cent ongoing fee will be put into a separate account in order to pay for and service the new defibrillators. The defibrillators’ pads need to be replaced every two years and the batteries every four years. The actual units cost $1,500 each.

Robertson is also the president of the Exempt Staff Association, and about a year ago the group started thinking about projects that would benefit the school as a whole. Robertson said the idea to add more defibrillators came during this time.

“One of the things that I noticed is we didn’t have very many defibrillators on campus,” Robertson said

There are currently only eight defibrillators on campus. Robertson said he would like to see those numbers increase within the next year by adding a defibrillator in every building and multiple in the larger buildings such as the Holland building.

How close someone is to a defibrillator could be the deciding factor between life and death, Robertson said. The main issue is proximity.

“If you had to run two minutes to get [a defibrillator] that’s actually four minutes of time,” Robertson said. “[That’s] four minutes from the time you need it. Chances of you maybe making it are pretty slim.”

The actual defibrillators are pretty user friendly, Robertson said. In order for people to become more comfortable with using them, first aid courses are offered on campus to teach students enrolled in the course the proper techniques.

Jerrett Holdaway, a senior biology major from Hurricane, said he wouldn’t mind paying the small fee to help get more defibrillators on campus and doesn’t see the fee as any sort of financial burden.

“I don’t mind giving a quarter to save a life,” Holdaway said.

Marie Swejkoski, a junior general education major from St. George, said she didn’t view the 25 cent fee as a problem either if it would help someone in the future.

“[It] seems like it might be a good idea,” Swejkoski said. “Twenty-five cents isn’t too much.”

Jordan Braegger, a freshman general education major from St George, said being prepared for any type of potential situation would be beneficial to those involved.

“You don’t have much time to run around the campus screaming, ‘Where’s a defibrillator?'” Braegger said.”You need to know where it is.” Braegger said. “You need to be on top of it, and be able to act quickly. This is a person’s life we’re talking about.”