Nebraska receives $6.4M grant to equip law enforcement with defibrillators

Nebraska News

LINCOLN, Neb. (KCAU) — Nebraska has received a $6.4 million grant that will put 2,500 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in law enforcement vehicles in the state.

According to a release, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) the grant to equip law enforcement agencies, first responders, and state officers and facilities with AEDs.

“This generous grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust equips law enforcement with a valuable resource to save lives. Law enforcement officers are often the first to arrive at an accident or respond to medical emergencies. Having this equipment and training will allow them to intervene immediately during an emergency, without having to wait for the arrival of EMS personnel,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The American Heart Association said there’s a significantly higher rate of survival for cardiac patients defibrillated by law enforcement, who are generally first on the scene, especially in rural areas.

DHHS will distribute the AEDs to participating law enforcement agencies for primary response vehicles. In addition, master trainers will teach and refresh CPR and AED skills across 25 distribution sites. The sites have been strategically placed across Nebraska to reduce travel time for participants. Distribution of the AEDs is planned to conclude in 2022. Nebraska DHHS will manage communication regarding the training requirements and device distribution.

AEDs are portable devices used to diagnose and treat sudden cardiac arrest through defibrillation, which re-establishes an effective heart rhythm. The AEDs selected for distribution feature technology that reduces pauses during CPR and, therefore, improves blood circulation and odds of survival. These devices can use Wi-Fi to send near real-time information about a patient’s heart to emergency services, improving post-event evaluation and care.

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