Anyone suffering a cardiac emergency in Whitehall has as good a chance for a full recovery as anywhere else in central Ohio.

The Whitehall Division of Fire in January purchased three new defibrillators to equip two medics and one fire engine.

The new ZOLL X series of defibrillators feature Auto Pulse, with the ability to self-determine resistance and administer the minimum amount of shock necessary to stop a cardiac arrest, Whitehall Fire Chief Preston Moore said.

Unlike the antiquated method of "dialing up" a number -- think of the 1-to-10 dial on paddles in syndicated episodes of "Trapper John M.D." -- the new ZOLL defibrillator takes into account muscle, fat and other variables across a patient's chest wall to determine how much "shock" is required to restart a heart rhythm, Moore said.

The city purchased the three new defibrillators for $35,000 each, Moore said, but recovered some of the cost by selling their used defibrillators.

Those defibrillators, Moore said, were refurbished and, along with defibrillators from other departments, sent to Haiti and other third-world countries, where they continue to help save lives.

The new defibrillators also have the ability to multitask by monitoring and recording a patient's heart rate, blood pressure and the oxygen level of blood -- and even can transmit that information to the hospital, Moore said.

"The hospital has your EKG before you get there," Moore said.

Another feature of the new equipment is automatic compressors.

Instead of a medic being required to administer chest compressions, even while others are moving the patient on a gurney, the new defibrillators have a device that administers chest compressions automatically.

The device presses on a patient's sternum, replicating how a person would administer chest compressions, firefighter Brandon Scott said.

Whitehall EMS coordinator Michael Burnes said the new defibrillators will improve cardiac-arrest survival rates.

"We are excited to incorporate this new technology and look forward to utilizing these monitors," Burnes said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo