Albemarle County, Charlottesville Police Receiving Automatic External Defibrillators

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – To speed care for heart attack victims, the advisory board for the University of Virginia Department of Emergency Medicine is donating 26 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Albemarle County and Charlottesville police departments.

The UVA Emergency Medicine Center for Education, Research and Technology (EMCERT) provided $38,857 to purchase the AEDs and will cover half the cost of training up to 75 people from each department in their use. Albemarle County police received 16 AEDs, and Charlottesville police received 10 AEDs.

“Police officers often arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest before fire rescue units, so equipping police vehicles with AEDs can help our local police departments provide the initial care that is so important to helping patients survive,” said Cindy Schutt, chair of the EMCERT Advisory Board.

A Valuable Tool for Treating Cardiac Arrest

An AED is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to restore a normal heart rhythm for a patient suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. Fast care to help these patients is critical; according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest patients drop 10 percent each minute they aren’t treated.

Equipping police officers with AEDs has been shown to be helpful. A 2013 review of research studies published in the journal Resuscitation found that police AED programs helped patients get defibrillated sooner and improved survival rates.

“UVA is committed to the well being of our community,” said Robert O’Connor, MD, chair of UVA’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “We believe that these AEDs will help police officers provide important care as soon as they arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest.”

The Albemarle County and Charlottesville police departments appreciate EMCERT’s donation.

“The AED enhances our ability as police officers to respond to and assist our EMS partners with cardiac patients. Our police officers are mobile 24/7, which in some circumstances allows for a faster response time to these situations,” said Albemarle County Police Lt. Robert C. Beck. “We are truly grateful to the UVA Department of Emergency Medicine for initiating this project and bringing a valuable resource to our community.”

“These AEDs will be a valuable tool for our officers when they are called on to assist emergency medical personnel,” said Timothy J. Longo Sr., Chief of Police for Charlottesville.