JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Today, the Jefferson County Sheriff announced that his office will be the first law enforcement agency in the state to equip sheriff’s vehicles with new life saving equipment.
Sheriff Mike Hale reported that the sheriff’s vehicles will have the Heart-Sine® Samaritan® PAD 360P (SAM 360P) automated external defibrillator (AED). AED’s can and do save lives, the sheriff’s office reports. In a cardiac emergency when seconds count Deputies equipped with these devices will be able to intervene in a situation to assist in saving the life of someone experiencing a cardiac episode.
“We’re here for public safety, our job is to protect all of our citizens. Investing in AEDs is just one more step in providing our officers with a tool that can save someone’s life,” Sheriff Hale said.
The Sheriff’s office plans to equip every marked unit with a device called an automatic external defibrillator. The plan is to purchase enough defibrillators to equip every Sheriff’s marked unit.
“We want the public to be aware of this in case they are with someone having a cardiac episode and see a Sheriffs marked unit they can flag them down and save time when seconds may be the difference in life and death” Sheriff Hale added.
According to a report from the American Heart Association, there were 326,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest reported in the United States in 2015. Of those events witnessed by a bystander where the victim had a shockable heart rhythm, 31 percent survived.
An automated external defibrillator is a device that can be used to establish a regular heart rhythm in a person who has suffered some form of cardiac arrest.
The sheriff’s office reports this will be important all across Jefferson County where a deputy may be available before medical personnel has arrived. Deputies working anywhere in the county, whether in downtown Birmingham or rural Jefferson County, will be trained to take immediate life-saving action when on a scene before medical personnel arrives.
Deputies are completing training with the new equipment this week. The AED’s are issued to deputies upon completion of the training.