Three Peabody police patrol cars have lifesaving automated external defibrillators — AEDs — thanks to a $2,800 donation from Peabody Association of Churches.
The pieces of equipment are used to shock a heart that is beating out of rhythm back into rhythm, said Steve Smith, Emergency Medical Services Director.
The AEDs also walk a user through their proper use — including a reminder to call for an ambulance — as soon as the machines are turned on.
If a victim’s condition isn’t suitable to use the shock, the machine will determine this and will verbally guide the user through proper CPR procedure, according to a release from the Association of Churches.
The effort to put the AEDs in police cars is invaluable, Smith said.
“Any time there’s an AED nearby, it’s a good thing,” he said.
It certainly was a good thing Jan. 6, 2009, when Marion and Ellinwood high schools met for a basketball game in Ellinwood.
Referee Phil Nusser suffered a heart attack during a girls basketball game, but thanks to the intervention of some spectators and an AED machine, Nusser was responsive by the time an ambulance arrived.
Police usually arrive before an ambulance, Smith said. That is because ambulance crews have to leave work and go to the ambulance station, but police are often patrolling when an emergency call goes out.
Peabody is the only police department equipped with AEDs in the county, he said. Putting AEDs in other cities’ police cars would be a worthwhile fundraiser for any organization, Smith said.
“Should these devices save even one life, the investment was worth every penny,” the Association of Churches’ release said.