Lifesaving devices not installed in Yakima schools

Lifesaving devices not installed in Yakima schools »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- KIMA is taking action for you by tracking school spending. Action News learned the Yakima School District spent thousands of dollars of your money on life saving devices. Now, they're sitting in storage. Action News investigated why the district isn't using them.

An automated external defibrillator is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses and treats life threatening problems. Earlier this year, a boy was saved by one in Richland. They are valuable devices, but not all schools can afford them. Each one costs about $1,500. We learned the Yakima School District has 16. They were delivered seven months ago, but not one has been installed in a school. Instead, they're sitting in storage.

"Sounds like a big waste of money to me,” said taxpayer, Mildred Hilliard. “If they aren't using it when they should be using them."

"Here are people who are paying taxes for better schools; they are asking for school bonds then they are sitting there wasting money on stuff like this," said Yakima taxpayer, Dan Shuler.

The district said it has to find the proper places to put them and train employees. But, other districts like West Valley and Selah have them and told KIMA they were ready to use in a matter of days. One nurse told me the simple three-step instructions can be followed by almost anyone older than 10.

"If they aren't going to use them, use them on computers or something to help teach our kids,” said Shuler. “Better than wasting money on stuff like that."

The district admitted they probably could have been installed sooner. The plan now is to install all 16 in the next two weeks.

The defibrillators will be installed in all three high schools, the Yakima online building, as well as the district's administration and transportation buildings. We'll follow-up and let you know when they're in.