All patrol cars to get new, lifesaving technology
By Robert Frank
They’re called automated external defibrillators (AEDs), so easy to operate that a child can learn to use one and more than twice as likely to save a life than cardiopulmonary resuscitation—so Laval Police have just ordered 48 more of them.
“We bought 22 AEDs in 2012, which have already directly saved 14 lives, including two so far in 2014,” smiled Sgt. Frédéric Jean during an interview at Laval Police headquarters.
“The youngest of the 14 people whom we helped was a four-year-old girl,” he told The Suburban. “Many people don’t realize that children and young adults in their 20s and 30s can have undetected heart conditions and—before the advent of AEDs—the day that they found out would often be the day that they died.”
Sgt. Jean said that the most recent time that police shocked a cardiac victim back to life was Feb. 8.
“I spoke to him 10 days later, and he was already back home,” he marveled. “He wouldn’t have survived without the AED.”
“Until now, we strategically positioned the 22 AEDs that we had in police cars that responded exclusively to emergency calls,” Sgt. Jean explained. “The new devices will bring our total number of AEDs to 70, which will permit us to position them in every community police station and patrol car.”
“Everyone on the road will have one,” he said, “Solo cars that work out of the community police stations which respond to lower-priority calls and only work day and evening shifts will now be equipped with AEDs, as will fixed facilities such as the Laval Police headquarters building, training centre, dispatch centre and emergency measures organization. Even the detention block will be equipped with an AED.”
Police often reach the cardiac victims before paramedics arrive.
The situation has been exacerbated of late, due to a labour dispute at the government-imposed regional ambulance monopoly, Urgences santé.
Last week, The Suburban reported Vimont MNA Jean Rousselle’s consternation that, at times, there are no ambulances anywhere on Laval territory.
Rousselle acknowledged that Laval police officers and firefighters serve as a stopgap, but called on Quebec Health Minister Réjean Hébert to move without delay to ensure that there are also at least two pairs of mobile paramedics present here at all times.
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