The Amish are known for their disdain of modern technology. That includes electricity, cars and computers but apparently not defibrillators.
KYW’s Pat Loeb says the Amish have embraced a plan to put the life-saving devices in their homes it wasn’t easy but emergency responders in Lancaster County were able to convince the local Amish community that members could learn to operate defibrillators without compromising their religious beliefs.
James Weber (at podium) of Manheim Township ambulance says resistance to technology was only part of the problem:
“One of the biggest aspects of Amish culture is, when the heart stops the heart stops. It’s God’s will. It’s that person’s time. What we were able to get the Amish to understand is, when someone goes in to cardiac arrest, their heart hasn’t necessarily stopped.”
Weber says he worked with Amish leaders for months before finally beginning to put the devices in Amish homes this week. The idea is to have defibrillators in more places, to cut response time when someone has a heart attack. So the Amish will be loading the devices into their horse and buggies to get them to neighbors in need.
Listen to extended interview:
(Photos by KYW’s Pat Loeb)