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Hudson City Council may add new software system to improve emergency calls

By M.A. Ferguson-Rich correspondent

Hudson City Council 12-11
Elliot Fisch, CEO of Atrus, Inc. addresses council Tuesday about a new software that could be added to the city's emergency response system that would locate and monitor Automated External Defibrillator devices. (M.A. Ferguson/Rich/

HUDSON:  The city may be adding a software program that could shorten the response times to heart-related emergency calls.

EMS Outreach and EMS Director Bruce Graham proposed Tuesday adding the program that monitors and locates Automated External Defibrillator devices during City Council’s workshop.

The program is run by Atrus, Inc, which is based in Florida. CEO Elliott R. Fisch presented the services that are offered for a cost of approximately $950 per year.

The software is added into the 911-system and monitors the location and status of AED devices located throughout the city. When a call is made indicating that a person has collapsed, is unresponsive and breathing is not normal, the software locates the closest device. It transmits the location of the device to EMS personnel, and to the person who registered the device and agreed to assist if paged. The goal is to get a working AED to the stricken person within the shortest time possible, which can greatly increase the chances for survival of a heart attack.

EMS Outreach has agreed to fund the software and service for two years, and did not rule out funding beyond that point. The outreach organization was created in 2010 to fund projects, raise public awareness, and otherwise support Hudson EMS.

After the presentation, council indicated its willingness to accept the gift.

Atrus will also provide a registry of all devices in the city, and will issue maintenance alerts monthly, to keep the owners of the devices advised as to the status of battery expiration and other issues.

Fisch pointed out, that the AED device located outside the meeting room at Town Hall had device pads that expired in November. He said that with his company's service, the city would have been notified of the expiration.

Graham proposed, in addition to accepting the gift, that council pass legislation legally requiring the registration of all AED devices in the city on the national registry run by Atrus.

Both Council President Hal DeSaussure, and David Basil had reservations about mandating registration, citing concerns that fear of liability or violation of the law might deter local businesses, churches, etc., from purchasing a device.

The consensus of council seemed to be that legislating registration was not a good idea.

As an alternative, representatives of EMS Outreach present told council that they are starting an initiative to get more local businesses to purchase AED's. They will be offering a reduced price on the devices, which range from $900 to $1,400 prior to discount, and would run about $700-900, with the discount. The discount could be made contingent on a registration requirement.

Council was more receptive to this idea, with David Basil saying it was offering "a carrot, rather than a stick."