Defibrillators, like those used on ambulances, by firefighters, and some by the County Sheriff’s Department, or others with specialized training, have battery packs and have a certain shelf life.

Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Rick Stever said many of the 30 defibrillators that are spread out around the county are in need of new battery packs. He took his request to the County Commissioners of not more than $10,000 for new batteries.

An automated external defibrillator is used in cases of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias which lead to cardiac arrest. Stever said later, “They don’t get used very often, fortunately, but it’s a good idea to have it just in case.”

The defibrillator uses an electric shock, he said, and, “if there’s not enough power stored in the batteries, then the defibrillators will not work.”

Stever said he can buy some new batteries through the North Tahoe Lake/Truckee Fire District who have a outlet contract with Cardiac Science, in Wisconsin, “and save quite a bit of money.”  He said an order of 25 or more will bring a $50 per battery discount. The price per battery pack is $199. In addition, Stever said he wanted to buy new pads to go with the defibrillators, “because they only have a shelf life of about two years, and we’ve been using ours for about five years.”  He also wanted to buy 10 pediatric pads.

He said the cost for the defibrillator batteries and pads would be about $6,250.

The ambulances in the county, and now the fire departments, use the defibrillators the most. Stever said they might get used only once every two or three years. He said Pioche used theirs two or three times in one year a few years ago, and had to use it again just last year during the Labor Day celebration.

Commissioner Paul Donohue moved to approve the purchase, but said the Board needed to look into the budget to see what funds could be used.