The Idaho Heart Foundation has acquired AED devices for the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
SHELLEY — A local Sheriff’s Office has acquired life-saving devices that will be stored in patrol vehicles and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
The Bingham County Sheriff’s Office met with the Idaho Heart Foundation at the Shelley Fire Station on July 24 to receive eight AED defibrillator devices, which will allow them to assist people experiencing cardiac arrest.
So far, 12 out of the 35 Sheriff’s patrol vehicles are equipped with AEDs, and deputies have been able to use them to save people’s lives in the past, said Bingham County Sheriff Jeff Gardner. He said that the goal is to eventually have all of their vehicles equipped with a device
“The more we have, they’ll be there when we need it,” Gardner said, adding that it’s better to have them than say, “I wish I would have had that to make a difference in somebody’s life.”
Gardner said the devices are user friendly with simple instructions for how to deploy them.
The instructions on a Zoll AED device | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
Gardner said the Blackfoot and Shelley Police Departments have AED devices in a number of their vehicles as well. They plan to distribute the devices between their office and the two departments so access can be increased throughout the county.
“It doesn’t matter what entity has them. It’s that they’re out there (and) they’re on the road. They’re available at any time an officer might need them,” Gardner said.
The Idaho Heart Foundation has been on a mission to put defibrillators in the hands of police officers for six years since Dr. Blake Wachter and Idaho Falls Fire Chief Eric Day recognized the community need, said Jacob Gilbert, Vice President of the Foundation.
It started with equipping a couple of patrol vehicles with devices and “just continually grew and grew as the years and the months went on,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the goal is to keep on expanding the foundation until they have distributed devices all over Idaho. In addition, they also provide free hands only CPR training for the public.
The money for the AEDs that were given to the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office was raised by the Heart Ball, held at the Shoshone-Bannock Event Center in February. In total, the foundation was able to get 18 AEDs as well as a Lucas device.
They raise a large amount of money so that they can purchase a larger order of devices at once, “instead of one at a time or two at a time,” Gilbert said. The Zoll brand AEDs are listed at over $2,000 per unit.
“Time is of the essence. If a police officer shows up and is only able to do hands only CPR because ambulances are tied up on another call, they have to wait,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the survivability rate of someone going through cardiac arrest goes from 30% all the way to around 70% when an AED is present.
“When somebody’s going through a heart attack, if they can receive a shock that starts their heart again five minutes before… whoever is responding with us, then that’s five minutes sooner of their life being saved,” Gardner said.
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