SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Sharp County Sheriff's Office is trying to equip their deputies with a piece of life-saving equipment.
It was only after a young man died that they realized how important it might be to have an automated external defibrillator in their patrol cars.
"He was the sweetest. I mean, he never had a cruel word to say to anybody," Kim Melton, mother of Carson Melton said. "He was just exceptional. He was one of those children that was, you know, he was just good. He was a good kid, a good young man."
Melton remembers her son Carson. He was a seemingly-healthy 21-year-old who loved to exercise. He often ran three or four miles a day.
"He had a punching bag in his room and he had a total gym. He exercised every day, even if he didn't run," Melton said.
On Jan. 1, however, Carson went for a run down their county road and never came home.
"You don't expect that to happen to someone who is healthy," Melton said.
Carson had an undetermined cardiac failure, and since it was out in the county, a Sharp County sheriff's deputy was the first on the scene.
CPR was started, but Carson later died at the hospital.
"Sometimes it takes ambulances in the rural areas sometimes 20 or 25 minutes to get there," Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts said.
Counts wants to make his deputies better prepared to handle these cardiac incidents, by putting AEDs in their six patrol vehicles.
"If we can save one life, it'll be worth it all," Counts said.
The department received a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield to buy two of the AEDs and private donors have raised another $1,000 dollars to buy a third.
Now Counts and Melton hope other community members will help them get the last three.
"If they would have had the equipment, there could have been a chance, we don't know. But I think that he would want people to know his story so that if there is a chance for someone else, they will have the equipment next time and they can be helped," Melton said.
If you would like to donate to the project, call the Sharp County Sheriff's Office at 870-994-7329 and ask for Detective Aaron Presser.