To help improve cardiac arrest survival in King County, the Bellevue and Kent police departments will participate in a two-year initiative that will equip patrol vehicles with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and dispatch them to cardiac arrest calls along with emergency medical responders.
Led by Public Health -- Seattle & King County's Emergency Medical Service Division and supported by the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund, the initiative is designed to see if having an additional responder that may get to and start resuscitation on people quicker will improve community cardiac arrest survival rates.
"King County has among the world's best cardiac arrest survival rates, but we're continuing to look for ways to save more lives," said Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, medical director for King County Emergency Medical Services Division of Public Health -- Seattle & King County. "Shortening the time to receiving the first defibrillation is critical to improving chances for survival, so including nearby police in the emergency response chain is a promising approach."
"I'm really pleased that the Bellevue Police Department was chosen as a partner to implement this pilot program," said Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo. "Since heart disease is the number-one cause of death in the U.S., the possibility of saving more lives in Bellevue by having portable AEDs in the hands of our officers is very exciting."
Equipped Bellevue and Kent police who arrive first to the scene of a cardiac arrest will start resuscitation and deliver the first defibrillatory shocks. Once emergency medical responders arrive on scene, they will take over resuscitation duties.
In February Bellevue Police equipped 44 patrol vehicles with AEDs, while Kent Police will activate their program in 55 patrol vehicles in early April. Participating officers receive training in how to use the equipment. All AEDs are being provided by Philips Healthcare.
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