Reporting Gigi Barnett
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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County Police are stocking their cruisers with a life-saving piece of equipment.
It’s a device that costs thousands of dollars and, as Gigi Barnett reports, it’s part of the county’s plan to put automatic defibrillators in all public places.
Howard County Police are usually the first on a scene, but not every call involves crime. Some are medical emergencies. That’s why the county is installing automatic defibrillators—also called AEDs—inside police vehicles. No more waiting for a medic.
“The ambulances have to leave the fire station or wherever they are. They are fewer in number,” said Howard County Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Schroen. “It means when someone goes into cardiac arrest, help can be there even faster than an ambulance.”
AEDs are completely automated. With virtually little or no training, anyone can use it on a person in cardiac arrest. The device assesses the patient and, if needed, gives the heart a life-saving shock.
Howard County officers have used them before.
“They are trained as first responders. They know CPR but the AED is just another tool they have to save lives,” Schroen said.
Installing AEDs inside police cars is the latest step in the county’s mission to place the devices in public places like schools, community centers and libraries. Altogether, AEDs cost about $56,000.
Howard County installed AEDs in 50 police cars.