Hilliard police equip all cruisers with AEDs

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
Hilliard Division of Police officer Dustin Gigandet on Feb. 3 describes the automated external defibrillators that now are being carried in each Hilliard cruiser.

Seconds matter when a person is in cardiac arrest.

Those seconds now might be better used in Hilliard, as each of the Hilliard Division of Police’s 29 cruisers is carrying an automated external defibrillator, best known by its acronym, AED.

“I’ve done CPR about a dozen times (and) didn’t always get the result I wanted,” officer Dustin Gigandet said.

The cruisers were equipped with AEDs in mid-January. After two weeks, Gigandet had not used the device but said he hopes, when necessary, that it would help him save lives more often.

The 29 AEDs were purchased for about $1,125 each, and the cost was divided evenly between the Norwich Township Fire Department and police division, said police spokeswoman Andrea Litchfield.

“(Police) are already on the road, in the neighborhoods and, in many instances, they are already in the house and doing CPR when we get there,” Norwich Township fire Lt. Justin Waples said.

Fire Chief Dave Baird said the AEDs are “a huge asset.”

The Hilliard Division of Police has equipped each of its cruisers with an automated external defibrillator. The 29 AEDs were purchased for about $1,125 each, and the cost was divided evenly between the Norwich Township Fire Department and police division, said police spokeswoman Andrea Litchfield.

The AEDs are similar to the models found in churches, school buildings and many other public places.

The devices detect whether or not to administer a shock based on the heart rhythm they sense and emit audible step-by-step directions for their use, Waples said.

Although AEDs can be used effectively by those with no training, each police officer undergoes CPR and AED training every two years.

In the hands of officers already trained in administering CPR and using an AED, the chance to save lives is enhanced, Waples said.

“At times, officers arrive to a (medical emergency) first, and having an AED in every car allows us the opportunity to change the outcome of someone’s life,” police Chief Robert Fisher said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo