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The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Seven state parks are getting emergency equipment used to help heart attack victims.

The equipment costs about $2,500 each and is easy to use. The devices weigh about 7 pounds and can be operated by one person.

John Keck, director of the Department of Parks and Cultural Resources, said Monday his agency has not yet determined which of the 18 manned parks or historic sites would get the equipment.

Keck said he decided to evaluate emergency procedures for the state park system after six drowning deaths at Parthfinder Reservoir in Carbon County this year.

Keck’s office has no administrative jurisdiction over Pathfinder.

“When you’re dealing with large bodies of water, emergency situations could pop up,” Keck said. “Had it happened at Glendo or Boysen or Keyhole, would we have had things in place to help to save somebody’s life in a similar situation.”

In the state park system, there was one drowning death at Curt Gowdy State Park in early spring, one at Glendo State Park over Memorial Day weekend and a third at a hot pool at Hot Springs State Park, he said.

One recommendation from the Emergency Medical Services section of the state Department of Health was to have defibrillators available.

A defibrillator is a lifesaving device that delivers an electric shock to an ailing heart through pads placed on the chest. It is used when the heart has developed an irregular or ineffective beat, a condition called fibrillating, a type of cardiac arrest.

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Under the state’s plan, the state Health Department will buy seven of the defibrillators and loan them to Keck’s department.

The state Emergency Medical Services division will train state park employees on how to use the equipment.

Jim Mayberry of the EMS agency said training will not begin until this fall when the busy summer season is over.

Keck said the EMS officials said the defibrillators can be carried in the back of a pickup truck.

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