Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Able EMS has donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Portsmouth Police Department — the first step to help train first-responding officers in life-saving capabilities. The device will be installed in a police cruiser to assist officers at the scene of a medical emergency until EMS can arrive.
“Police officers are usually the first ones on the scene, and when we get called or we’re en route, there’s been plenty of services where there’s been a cardiac respiratory arrest and the officer was doing CPR. Had they had an AED, could the outcome have been any better? Potentially. So let’s get one in their system and … get this ball rolling,” said Able EMS Manager Jon Jenkins.
Valued at about $2,200, the AED device was donated to the city by Jenkins and Able Marketing Director Fred Barney, and it was accepted by Portsmouth Police Captain and Interim Chief Robert Ware and Mayor David Malone.
“As technology advances, there are so many services and equipment available to the safety forces to improve the quality of life in the community. Unfortunately municipal budgets don’t always afford the financial ability to invest in those advances. So for the private industry to partner with the public agencies to provide the equipment and training necessary to implement some of those programs, it’s just a fabulous resource to have,” Ware said.
Jenkins said Able will also help the city find grant funding opportunities to install AED devices in more than 25 police cruisers, and certified instructors will volunteer to train city officers how to use the new equipment and perform CPR. Training will be done while officers are on-the-clock, to avoid any overtime to the city.
“Myself or another CPR instructor are actually going to come out on each shift and catch these people, that way it does not generate any overtime to the city whatsoever,” Jenkins said. “Which means me and the other CPR trainer may be out at 3 o’clock in the morning training these officers.”
Most metropolitan areas, Jenkins said, already issue an AED in every police cruiser.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.