September 11 Is Now a Day of Life Saving in Ashland County

September 11 Is Now a Day of Life Saving in Ashland County

September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020, church leaders from many of the 105 congregations in Ashland County gathered at Samaritan Hospital Foundation for their monthly Ashland County Ministerial Association (ACMA) meeting. Dick Beal, Samaritan Hospital Foundation (SHF) President, along with Dr. Cliff Megerian, President of University Hospitals; Todd Harford, President of UH Samaritan; Rick Anderson, Ashland City Fire Chief and Wendy Holmes, UH Samaritan Medical Center EMS Coordinator/Paramedic surprised the group with an announcement that every church in Ashland County would receive a donation of an automated external defibrillator (AED).


Todd Harford explained to the group of church leaders, “I’m very happy UH was able to partner with SHF to make this gift possible. As your congregation receives this gift and determines who will be trained, you become part of our first responders and help us improve the cardiac arrest survival rate in Ashland County. Time is muscle and I appreciate everything your churches are doing to help us care for our community.”


According to Dick Beal, “There are approximately 105 churches in Ashland County and most of them do not have AEDs. With 12,000 people in church every Sunday, we saw there was a need to ensure every church was equipped with life-saving equipment.” SHF partnered with University Hospital Emergency Training and Disaster Institute and the Ashland Fire Department to determine the best AED unit for the job and provide training.


Since many AEDs are often not well maintained, the group chose the LIFELINK CR2 system with WI-FI technology that allows remote monitoring of the devices. The LIFELINK system monitors each AED connected to a Wi-Fi network and automatically alerts to anything that may affect device readiness. Jason Roberts from Stryker, the company that makes the AEDs, added, “Your churches do an amazing service for your community and now you’re doing another amazing service to your community. I promise you, there will be lives saved in your community because of these AEDs. It’s not a matter of if, but when.”


The system is also very user friendly. Once CPR begins, the CR2 defibrillator analyzes and detects if a shock is needed. This significantly reduces pauses in chest compressions, even eliminating pauses if the rhythm is determined to be non-shockable. And more CPR means improved blood circulation and better odds of survival. The LIFELINK CR2 is the only AED that allows chest compressions during ECG rhythm analysis, reducing pauses between CPR and defibrillation.  


UH Samaritan Medical Center and Ashland City Fire Department are partnering to provide instruction of American Heart Association CPR/AED classes for Ashland County area churches. The CPR/AED classes will be offered October – December, every Thursday @ 10am and 7pm and every Saturday @ 10am, with the exception of Thanksgiving week, and ending December 19. Classes will be held at the UH Administrative Services Building 663 East Main Street in Ashland. To schedule, please contact Wendy Holmes at

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