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Contact Info 90 West Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215


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Columbus Police Equipped With Lifesaving Tools

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2019

City Council Equips Columbus Division of Police with Automated External Defibrillators

COLUMBUS, OH -- Sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In Columbus, over 600 of our residents suffer from sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting each year. That equates to nearly two incidents a day. Currently only 12 percent of these 600 victims recover from their sudden cardiac arrest event.

Speedy response time to a sudden cardiac arrest is crucial to the victim’s survival. If an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) delivers a shock within the first three to five minutes after a person's heart stops, the odds of survival are 60 percent to 70 percent.

While the Division of Fire EMS has an excellent response rate on average of under eight minutes, the Columbus Division of Police often responds even more quickly. Equipping CPD cruisers with AEDs can increase the likelihood that an AED is used within the crucial time window that will increase chance of survival.

“Although Police response will not replace EMS responding and transporting the victim to the appropriate healthcare facility, increasing our first responders' access to lifesaving equipment will act as a force multiplier in our community,” said Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown.

The legislation enacted tonight will purchase 30 AEDs to be placed in Columbus Division of Police cruisers. The Division has already outfitted 36 vehicles with these lifesaving devices. The same response protocol will be used to ensure the units outfitted with these devices are dispatched to incidents of sudden cardiac arrests in addition to EMS personnel. These 30 additional AED units will be dispersed in precincts with the highest volume of calls related to sudden cardiac arrest. The success of the pilot program will be evaluated after one year, and may be expanded if proven successful and funding is available.

“I commend the Columbus Division of Police for embracing an initiative that enhances their skill-set as first responders in order to save lives,” stated Councilmember Brown.

This pilot is one of the recommendations made in May by the HeartSafe Columbus Taskforce. Comprised of first responders, healthcare professionals, and community advocates, the Taskforce submitted recommendations to improve Columbus’s survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest. Over the coming year, Councilmember Brown will continue to implement these recommendation with the goal to double Columbus’ survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest.

In addition to the deployment of AEDs, the Columbus Division of Police has also committed to annual Hands Only CPR training for every member of the Division. The Division projects that all 2,200 members will receive training by the end 2020.