King County deputies to receive cardiac arrest equipment

January 4, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 3:05 p.m. Jan. 4, 2011

King County public health officials said equipment and training for King County Sheriff’s Office deputies to respond to cardiac arrest could mean the difference between life and death.

King County Emergency Medical Services, a division of Public Health – Seattle & King County, plans to distribute 53 automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to deputies interested in the training. Trained deputies can then be dispatched to a cardiac arrest call alongside emergency medical responders.

Officials announced the initiative Wednesday.

Equipped deputies arriving first to the scene of a cardiac arrest can start resuscitation and deliver the initial defibrillator shocks and, as soon as emergency medical responders arrive on the scene, they can take over resuscitation duties.

“Training and equipping sheriff deputies with external defibrillators is a great service for all residents in King County and will definitely save lives,” Dr. Mickey Eisenberg, medical director for King County Emergency Medical Services, said in a statement. “Rapid defibrillation can literally snatch the life from the jaws of death.”

Officials said 15 deputies have already been trained and equipped with AEDs. The involved agencies plan to assign the remainder of the AEDs during the next few months as deputies receive training.

“This is a voluntary initiative and all deputies receiving an AED have expressed their interest in participating in this life-saving program,” sheriff’s Capt.Bryan Howard, emergency services coordinator for the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.

Public Health – Seattle & King County provided funding for 49 of the AEDs. EMS levy funding is available for projects related to training for King County and a regional municipal workforce, as well as providing AEDs for King County facilities and vehicles.

“Our sheriff’s deputies often arrive first at the scene of an emergency, and they are already trained to save lives,” County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, chairwoman of the Security Oversight Committee and the Issaquah representative, said in a statement. “These AEDs are important tools to have available in the field so we can get help quickly to where it is needed. Recent placement of AEDs in the King County Courthouse already has saved at least one life, and now we can expand this capability throughout the community.”

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