Michael Roberts letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Responder praises employers who provide AEDs

Let’s get this out. Recently your paper did an article on a person that is alive today because Batesville Casket Company took the time and SMALL expense to purchase and implement an automated external defibrillator (AED) program at their business. This now brings me to my point in this story.

My wife and I manage Muscle Shoals Rubber Company for Cowles “Pete” Horton III and his sister, Susan Gray. We have both been involved as First Responders with Courtland Fire Department for years. We have seen what early treatment in an emergency can do.

Well, August 26, normal work day for most of us. Except for one of our employees (one of our friends), he was having a normal day until about 2:00 in the afternoon. He asked me if I had some Tums or something, I didn’t, so he sent after some. I later asked him if he was ok, he said he was fine and he just had gas or something he had eaten was working on him.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

His shift ended at 3:00. We all went home to our normal daily stuff. All but this man, he went home and died around 7:00. There have been people in my life I miss, but this person was special, he was my friend. I feel he may have been having a heart attack and could have gone down at work.

People, I have been trained in this stuff and I didn’t see it, you most likely will not see it either. I take this time to ask that ALL businesses, All government entities, ALL daycares and schools in Panola County do as the owners of this company did, purchase an AED and train your folks. There are even grants you can apply for.

You never know when or where, or if it will even be you. Quick action can make a difference. Ask the man at Batesville Casket. And he is not the only one, there are several in Panola County. There are package units with everything a person needs at good prices. There are local people that can help you do this. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) kills more people every year than fires, auto accidents and firearms combined do. And a bunch of those could be saved with early action.


Our hats are off to the owners of our company for not even giving a second chance thought to purchasing the AED for our company and providing training for our people!

I have done my part to get this out there to you, it’s your move now. Nothing in the world would make me feel better than to know, some day this letter helped to save someone’s life. Not everyone an AED is used on survives, but at least we can give everyone that chance.

Thank you and God Bless
Michael Roberts Sr.
Muscle Shoals Rubber Co.