Georgia Southern University’s program to install Automated External Defibrillators around campus is a great decision, but can go even further. The need for AEDs on campus was unfortunately highlighted last January when GSU lost Cory Wilson. His family donated the first AED in the COBA Building in his memory. The other AEDs being installed can also be “sponsored” by private funds, giving individuals and groups, such as student organizations, a visible, positive way to engage in community service. This is also a smart way for the university to cut the costs associated with the AEDs without having to raise student fees or buy a poor quality product.
While the AEDs are a new feature added to the buildings around campus, it is possible that they will eventually be an emergency safety feature of every building. If fire extinguishers are necessary in all the buildings to help prevent fire, then AEDs can serve the same role in preventing fatal cardiac arrests. In fact, the locations where the AEDs are placed can also expand to be an emergency health station with the addition of first aid kits. A first aid kit is inexpensive compared to AEDs and is much less situational. Student safety is an important thing in any university, and the installation of AEDs by GSU shows that the school is placing a high priority in making sure that more tragedies do not happen, not at least without exhausting every option.