Automated External Defibrillator
One In Every Trunk.
If you had to distill what we do for a living down to one simple sentence how would you do it? My vote is: Law enforcement officers protect life and property. There’s a lot more to it, but pretty much everything we do from traffic control, writing tickets, rescuing hostages, enforcing landlord/tenant laws, responding to traffic accidents, DUIs, DVs, loud neighbors and even drug education programs at schools boils down to protecting life and property.
Traffic accidents are among the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Out of all the safety devices incorporated into new cars the one most likely to actually save a life is the seatbelt, that’s why they’re mandatory and also why we’re charged to write tickets to those who refuse to wear them. It makes sense — protect life and property — that’s what we do.
Number One Killer
Heart attacks kill a whole lot more folks than traffic accidents. Heart disease is the number one killer — traffic accidents ranks 10th. So why aren’t we charged by our legislatures to handle this little problem too? We could hand out citations for driving under the influence of red meat; assault with a half-gallon of ice cream or conspiracy to gorge. I don’t think we’re quite ready for that just yet. But, there’s a way we can impact the death rate from sudden cardiac arrest — having Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in our vehicles and knowing how to use them.
I’m not sure about your agency, but in most places, when the “man down” call comes in and Fire, EMS and law enforcement are dispatched invariably we’re the first ones to be on scene. Not because we’re better drivers (we are), not because we care more (we do) and not because those other guys are lazy (uh, er) but, we’re already out there. We don’t need to get revved up and started; we’re already rolling. We need the funding to place an AED in every conveyance used by law enforcement. We’re already trained at the basic first aid level or better and it’s only about another hour to certify in use of the AEDs.
By Dave Douglas
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