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Albany, Dougherty Rotary clubs donate life-saving devices to Albany airport

A pair of Automated External Defibrillators are donated to Southwest Georgia Regional Airport

Officials with the Albany and Dougherty Rotary clubs were recognized Wednesday for donation of two Automated External Defibrillators to the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport. At the ceremony were, from left, Coroner Michael Fowler with the Dougherty Club, Dougherty Rotary President Gary Nevins, Aviation Commission board member Dr. Charles Gillespie, Airport Director Yvette Aehle, past Albany Rotary President David Guillebeau and current Albany Rotary President Bob Fletcher. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

Officials with the Albany and Dougherty Rotary clubs were recognized Wednesday for donation of two Automated External Defibrillators to the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport. At the ceremony were, from left, Coroner Michael Fowler with the Dougherty Club, Dougherty Rotary President Gary Nevins, Aviation Commission board member Dr. Charles Gillespie, Airport Director Yvette Aehle, past Albany Rotary President David Guillebeau and current Albany Rotary President Bob Fletcher. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — The Albany and Dougherty County Rotary clubs were recognized Wednesday by officials at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport for the donation of a pair of Automated External Defibrillator devices.

The defibrillators, which come with a price tag of $2,600 each, are mounted in the passenger waiting area of the new terminal building at the airport and adjacent to the Homeland Security checkpoint scanner. Officials with both Rotary clubs said the donations were made as a safety precaution.

“If one of these devices saves one life, it will be well worth it,” former Albany Rotary President David Guillebeau, who led the club when funds for the AEDs were allocated, said after a short ceremony at the airport terminal. “If someone has a heart attack, the first few minutes are the most critical.

“These devices are very simple to operate, and we wanted to have them available if needed at the airport.”

Airport Director Yvette Aehle said public safety personnel stationed at the airport have been trained in use of the defibrillators, but the devices can be used by anyone.

“Once they’re taken from the wall, a voice is activated that tells, step by step, what must be done,” Aehle said. “This is the latest in modern technology, and they’re designed so that they won’t shock the user.

“Also, the device will detect if a person is in cardiac arrest. If they’re not, it won’t shock the victim.”

Gary Nevins, president of the Dougherty County Rotary Club, said such donations are part of what Rotary does.

“We’re involved in a broad range of community projects — from Meals on Wheels to Santa for Seniors — and our club is even involved in international projects in Kenya, Honduras and Liberia,” Nevins said. “Our goal here was to enhance the safety of the passengers at our airport.”

Current Albany Rotary President Bob Fletcher said the donations are “about saving lives.”