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Couple gives $20K to outfit fire trucks with defibrillators

WINDER - A Barrow County couple donated $20,600 to furnish Barrow County fire trucks with an Automatic External Defibrillator, plus a spare.

An AED is a portable electronic device that diagnoses cardiac irregularities and uses electrical therapies to treat them.

"I read an article in the newspaper about the lady whose father died because the truck didn't have one, and that's such an easy thing to fix," Karen White, one of the donators, said. "That's not that much money to save a life."

In July, The Barrow County News published a letter from Lynn Hilley of Statham. She described how her father died of a massive heart attack in October. Although he lived only two miles from Statham's Fire Station No. 1, she wrote, an ambulance was dispatched from Fire Station No. 7 on Carl-Bethlehem Road, about 15 miles away. She noted that only two of Barrow County's six fire trucks were equipped with AEDs, a fact confirmed by Fire Chief Robert Post.

"Now we will have one on every first-out fire engine and one spare, in case one is out of service," Post said.

Hilley was unavailable for comment by press time.

Dewey White is a real estate developer and his wife, Karen, raises thoroughbred race horses on their Rockwell Church Road farm.