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Local businessman donates life-saving tools to Jonesborough police

Since opening a medical practice in Jonesborough less than two years ago, Jim Montag has watched 23 people walk through his door in cardiac arrest.
“Of those, I have lost none,” said Montag, a physician assistant at Jonesborough Community Care. “The important thing of keeping people alive is putting electricity on the heart.”
Knowing the significance of having that electricity on hand for immediate use, Montag recently donated three automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to the Jonesborough Department of Public Safety.
AEDs are portable electronic devices that diagnose and can correct arrhythmia of the heart that occurs when an individual is having a heart attack. The equipment treats a patient with electrical therapy, which allows the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
“The sooner you get electricity to the heart, the sooner you save a life,” Montag said. “If it takes 25 minutes to get a paramedic squad somewhere, at least we can have electricity on them.”
With Jonesborough’s public safety officers often being the first to arrive on scene, Montag believes it is important they are equipped with the lifesaving AEDs.
“The police are always in motion and normally right at a location when a call comes in,” he said. “All the cops want to help when something like this happens, but they don’t have the tools.”
Jonesborough Police Chief Matt Hawkins is excited for the AEDs to become a part of his department. Hawkins said the department had AEDs in the past, but they had become outdated and are no longer in use. The newly donated AEDs can be used on both adults and children.
“This is not cheap equipment; this isn’t gumball machine stuff,” Hawkins said. “And now, we will always have at least one on the road at all times. We have an extremely quick response time as public safety officers and when an officer arrives, these will arrive, too.”
Hawkins said the AEDs, valued at somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 each, are simple to use and include step-by-step directions that are designed for almost anyone to be able to understand in an emergency situation.
“You can’t mess up with them. These devices, when they are needed and deployed, are invaluable,” Hawkins said. “They are another good tool in our tool box.”
Montag said he donated the AEDs as a way to give back to the community in which he lives and works.