The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Holly Harper
Jefferson Valley Ambulance District 

Automated External Defibrillators: Where is the nearest one?


October 28, 2020

At work or at home, you should know the answer to that question. "AED" is the acronym for "Automated External Defibrillator," and AEDs are used to help people who are experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.

There are several Public Access AEDs in the Town of Whitehall and in the surrounding areas. Here are the locations:

Cardwell Store

Cardwell School

Whitehall Elementary hallway by the Tia Kober gym

Whitehall Varsity Gym foyer

Whitehall High School administrative hallway

Mammoth Homeowners Association

Parrot Bench Homeowners

Lewis & Clark Caverns: Winter: all 3 AEDs in the Main Visitor Center. May –Sep: campground, cave entrance, Visitor Center Store

Also, all deputies in Jefferson and Madison Counties carry an AED in their vehicles; USFS Law Enforcement and FWP officers carry them as well.

As part of the effort to make the Jefferson Valley area a "Cardiac Ready Community," PULSE, JVEMSR, and JVRAD are working together to increase geographical distribution of AEDs. We hope to have an AED at the Boulder Fire Station on Hwy 69 before Christmas. Training on First Aid/CPR/AED has been postponed temporarily, but we know there is a need in the community for more training, so stay tuned.

If you would like to apply for a repurposed but fully functional Zoll AED Plus unit with case for your organization, email and request an electronic or paper application. If you need assistance completing the grant application, include that in the email. First priority for distributing these 6 units is first responders, followed by non-profits groups and public access locations. AEDs grant applications are due by December 01, 2020, and awards will be decided by January 20, 2021 by the JVRAD Board.

For more information about the Montana Cardiac Ready Community Initiative, go to

News from PULSE/Jefferson Valley EMS & Rescue (JVEMSR):

Cardiac arrest is a condition in which abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, cause the heart's electrical impulses to suddenly become chaotic. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops abruptly, the victim collapses and quickly loses consciousness. Death usually follows unless a normal heart rhythm is restored within minutes. The recommended protocols for treating cardiac arrest include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation (electric shock to the heart). DPHHS website, graphic used with permission

PULSE has new accommodations at the former Whitehall Drug store. The new area includes a large open meeting space that will be used for future training, and smaller rooms in the back for offices and storage. Parking for PULSE does not include parking in the former Corner Store parking lot, so please read the signs and park accordingly. PULSE has agreed to a one-year lease of that space. There is not a place to park ambulances at the new location, and building plans are still progressing for John Janik. Hopes are high that he will get his ambulance facility completed in a time frame that coincides with the end of this new lease without too much overlap. The Jefferson Valley Rural Ambulance District has agreed to rent a portion of Janik's new facility to house the JVEMSR ambulances in the future, with details to be determined after he gets the building completed.

Other big news for the ambulance crew is that an experienced AEMT from Havre , Jack Trethewey, has been hired to work several shifts each week so that the small core of people available to go on ambulance runs can get some down time. PULSE has also offered paid shifts and paid on call time to others on the crew to enhance response. Although the roster of responders for JVEMSR stands at over 40, fewer than eight people are actively responding when the ambulance is called. That is not enough. With that in mind, if you are interested in becoming a volunteer EMT, a class is beginning in the very near future. Contact if you are interested in more information about the mostly asynchronous online class to become an Emergency Medical Technician.


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