Dozens of Scottsdale police cruisers soon will carry more technology that could help first responders save the lives of others. As part of a comprehensive plan to curb cardiac death, Professional Medical Transport ambulance service has donated 45 defibrillators to the city through the Ramsey-Norton Community Services Foundation.
The apparatus are automatic external defibrillators, known as AEDs. They are portable devices used to restore normal heart rhythm to patients in cardiac arrest.
An AED is applied outside the body and automatically analyzes the patient’s heart rhythm and advises the rescuer whether a shock is needed to restore a normal heartbeat.
Placed in police cars, the defibrillators will provide officers with an opportunity to administer medical care to someone who is unconscious or unresponsive or who may have drowned.
Forty-five of the defibrillators were donated to the police department this week, and there will be 27 more defibrillators donated next week, according to information from the police department.
“Law enforcement sometimes gets on the scene of an emergency before the fire department or anyone else,” said Bob Ramsey, president of PMT and director of the Ramsey-Norton Community Services Foundation. “Our goal, or challenge, is to get a defibrillator in every patrol car and then more in community service buildings.”
AEDs will initially be placed in 60 of the department’s 207 marked cruisers, said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.
Statistics show that more than 200,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year, and nearly one-fourth of them could have been prevented if someone had initiated the use of an AED, according to the American Red Cross.
When the city has installed the defibrillators, there will be a total of 175 AED units in patrol cars, public buildings, schools and community centers, according to information from PMT.
PMT began providing 911 emergency service to Scottsdale in February 2006, and responds in less than less than nine minutes 90 percent of the time, according to Ramsey.
PMT is nearing the middle of its five-year contract with the city, according to Garret Olson, chief of operations for the Scottsdale Fire Department.