Benton Fire District 1 to receive 6 defibrillators

Benton Fire District 1 personnel responding to a possible heart attack call will be armed with new automatic external defibrillators, thanks to a Finley company.

Agrium Inc. agreed to purchase six new defibrillators to replace outdated equipment being carried on the district's emergency rigs, officials said.

Each device, which costs $2,206, will be put on one of the agency's six emergency vehicles, replacing devices that are more than 10 years old.

An automated external defibrillator is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses potentially life-threatening cardiac irregularities called arrhythmia.

Fire District 1, which covers 320 square miles in southeast Benton County, responded to 1,082 calls in 2009, of which 625 were for medical emergencies.