Community helps sheriff's office surpass goal of buying AEDs

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Sharp County Sheriff's Office now has an automated external defibrillator for every patrol car, thanks to community support that exceeded their expectations.

The department began the push for AEDs after a 21-year-old man died while running along a county road.

A deputy got to the scene before EMTs but didn't have the equipment to try and save the man's life.

"Our original goal was to get two and try to swap them between our shifts," said Detective Aaron Presser.

The department has collected $10,000 from the community for this program so far.

"We continue to get donations and we're going to try to keep this program going," Presser said. "Right now, we have enough to fund every one of our deputies as well as our school resource officers. We're going to keep the program going and we'll even go to the local police departments or whatever other agencies we can help out."

Survival Flight also donated bags to keep the AEDs inside and other emergency medical items, including tourniquets and bandages.

"And the [Spring River Paramedic] ambulance service is going to teach a class for stop the bleeding," Presser said. "Which is a law enforcement first aid class for tourniquet use."

Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts said he is very thankful for the community members and organizations who have enabled them to possibly save lives.

"These sheriff's deputies and police officers, they're always on the road and they've got these units in their cars and there's a good chance they're going to get before the ambulance, even if it's just a couple of minutes," Presser said. "Every minute counts in a cardiac event."

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