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Automatic Defibrillators

In April 2002, The Novi Police Department announced the purchase of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to help victims in cardiac arrest.  AED’s are small portable devices that allow officers to effectively and accurately determine if a person requires intervention and to administer the shock intended to restore the heart to a regular beat. AED’s are carried in police vehicles while officers are on patrol.  Fire Department and ambulance personnel still remain the primary source of emergency medical care but now, police will be sent to persons who may be experiencing cardiac arrest.  Unconscious victims, reported cardiac arrest, persons not breathing, or CPR in progress are types of incidents when a police officer will be sent to aid in the medical emergency.

Fire and ambulance personnel are currently equipped with AED’s but research has established that for every minute that passes, the chance for survival decreases by 7-10%.  The intent of the AED program is to ensure a person in cardiac arrest gets help as soon as possible.  Novi Police Chief David Molloy said, "The faster we get help to a person, the better that victim’s chances of survival.  By getting people help 2 minutes earlier, their chance of surviving increases by 20%.  If we can get there soon enough, we can save lives."

The American Heart Association has determined there are four steps that can increase survival rates:

  • Early access to emergency medical care – 911
  • Early CPR
  • Early defibrillation (access to AED’s)
  • Early advanced medical care

When these guidelines are followed, the survival rate for victims of cardiac arrest raises from 3% to almost 20%.

Police Chief David Molloy said, "We have a proven device for saving lives and we have an excellent means of rapidly delivering that device to people in need by using police officers on patrol in our neighborhoods.  Equipping officers with AED’s and having them respond to calls of potential cardiac arrest gives strength to the City Council’s commitment to provide the best possible emergency medical care to the citizens of Novi.  This program greatly enhances the chance of survival.  It IS a matter of life and death!"

Police officers annually receive training in First Aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and AED’s.