Fla. city police cars now equipped with AEDs
The $9,864 purchase included the new Physio-Control AEDs, carrying cases, pads for adults and children and an eight-year warranty on each device
Daily Commercial, Leesburg, Fla.
ASTATULA, Fla. — The Astatula Police Department deployed automated external defibrillators in every police car in town last month, filling an important need for the small town department after the town council approved the funding in May.
For the past several years, the department had just two devices that it used for the day and night shifts. But the frequency of medical calls meant the one device per shift could be stretched thin, Astatula Police Chief Walter Hoagland said.
"We respond to medical calls a lot," Hoagland said. "This is one of the critical things you need in a (cardiac arrest) situation."
The devices, used to rescue a person from sudden cardiac arrest, were approved for purchase at the May 13 town council meeting. The $9,864 purchase included the new Physio-Control AEDs, carrying cases, pads for adults and children and an eight-year warranty on each device.
According to the meeting minutes, the money came from impact fees used for public safety. The town originally applied for a grant from Firehouse Subs, which was denied.
The town clerk, Graham Wells, sourced the devices for the town, selecting a brand compatible with the larger, more complex defibrillators carried by Lake EMS and Fire Rescue paramedics.
The devices arrived in mid-June and were deployed the same day, Hoagland said, after he delivered training to his officers on how to use them.
Wells said anyone can use one of the devices, which offer voice prompts and a simple, two-button operation, but that training can save valuable, life-saving time.
According to the American Red Cross, every second counts when rescuing someone from a sudden cardiac arrest. Every minute someone isn't defibrillated can reduce the chance of survival by up to 10%, according to their website.
Wells said that even after six minutes of waiting for a defibrillator, a person's chance of survival rapidly deteriorates.
Having the technology and the training on-hand can make a huge difference in saving a life.
That's why the devices are important, Wells said. Saturating the area with more AEDs can only be a good thing, and making sure the school resource officer has one too means students are protected twice over.
"There's no discrimination for sudden cardiac arrest," he said. "Not age, not gender, not race."
Both Hoagland and Wells gave most of the credit to the town council. Wells said there wasn't a hint of hesitation in their decision.
"They overwhelmingly voted on it because they saw the needs of our people," Hoagland said. "We wouldn't have had this without them."
©2019 Daily Commercial, Leesburg, Fla.