Vail Police have equipped each marked patrol car, including Code Enforcement Officer vehicles, with an Automatic External Defibrillator. In the event of sudden cardiac arrest, there is a small amount of time to save that person, typically 10 minutes or less. Because law enforcement personnel are often the first on scene, Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger felt strongly it was a necessity for each marked patrol vehicle to be equipped with an AED to better serve the community. The Vail Town Council funded the recently-purchased AEDs through the 2016 budget. Although the AEDs are new, Vail Police Officers and CEOs have been trained on their use for over five years.
An AED is a computerized medical device that can recognize an abnormal heart rhythm which requires an electrical shock, and will advise the rescuer when a shock is needed to restore the heart’s natural rhythm. AEDs are safe and easy to use and the American Heart Association considers them a major contributor to survival of cardiac arrest. Each AED will be equipped with a Res-Cue Mask First Responder Kit as well as Infant/Child AED Electrodes.
Starting Hearts, an Eagle County nonprofit dedicated to saving lives of cardiac arrest victims, conducts CPR/AED training and utilizes donations to place AEDs in public locations throughout the county. "Today, with more than 300 AEDs in place, our home is one of the safest places in the nation to experience a cardiac arrest," says Alan Himelfarb, executive director.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest causes 350,000 deaths per year or approximately one every 1.7 minutes. To prevent death, CPR must be started immediately. Use of an AED can increase the chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest by 70 percent. Without such help the chance of survival drops 10 percent for every minute that passes. The American Heart Association states that widespread use of AEDs could save approximately 40,000 lives each year in the United States alone.
Contact: Chief Dwight Henninger
Vail Police Department