PCSD to purchase 10 new AEDs for deputies’ vehicles

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Often the first responders on the scene of a cardiac episode, Putnam County sheriff’s deputies find themselves without the tools to effectively deal with such emergencies.

That all will soon change with plans in place for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department to purchase 10 new AED (automated external defibrillator) units from Cardiac Science.

Troy Pflugner of Cardiac Science gives a demonstration of his company's AED unit. The Putnam County Sheriff's Department is poised to buy 10 of the units for deputies' vehicles.

Sheriff Scott Stockton attended the most recent meeting of the Putnam County Council seeking a funding source for the emergency equipment.

In the end, the council asked Stockton to purchase the AEDs from his department’s equipment fund, with the understanding that Stockton will be back later in the year for additional appropriations when the equipment fund runs dry.

The 10 AEDs come to the county at a total cost of $8,000-$9,000, depending on the trade-in value of eight out-of-date units.

Deputy Jeffery Freeman, who is also an emergency medical technician, and Cardiac Science representative Troy Pflugner presented information on the units to council members, some of whom were so taken that they would like to possibly purchase units for other county departments to have on site.

“As many of you know, we often get dispatched to cardiac arrests before an ambulance or fire department can arrive,” Freeman told the council. This has to do with deputies being out patrolling the county while EMS and fire responders are tied to a station.

With the department’s AED units all 15 years old and no longer functional, deputies can only do CPR until the arrival of other responders. Pflugner pointed out that CPR is only a temporary solution.

“The cure for cardiac arrest is a shock,” Pflugner said.

The units the department is purchasing from Cardiac Science are military grade and come with an eight-year warranty for the unit and four years for the batteries.

One of Pflugner’s selling points was the self test the units perform each day, ensuring that the equipment is in working condition when the officers need it.

“There should never be a time that you suddenly find out the device is not emergency ready when you need it,” Pflugner said. “You don’t have officers treating the equipment instead of the patients.”

Additionally, the units give step-by-step instructions upon activation, not only advising users of when to stand clear for shocks to be administered, but even evaluating the speed and depth of chest compressions used in conjunction with defibrillation.

Freeman spoke of the importance of such technology in helping officers, most of whom are not trained medical professionals, properly administer care.

“The improvement in technology — that is so crucial,” Freeman said. “When somebody’s in cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest, you’re basically serving as life support.”

With a normal list price of $1,695, the AEDs are being offered to the county for $1,195, or $11,950 for all 10 units. The trade-in value of the expired units, which can be refurbished and used in developing countries, should bring the cost down below $9,000.

Council President Darrel Thomas was interested enough that he began asking questions about buying more units for the county, including three new AEDs to replace old units at the Putnam County Courthouse, as well as putting one at the highway department.

In the end, though, only the sheriff’s department units are being purchased at this time.

The council spoke briefly of taking the money from Public Safety Local Option Income Tax funds, but decided against it for now. The balance of the LOIT fund would have to be checked and the additional appropriation would have to be advertised.

Instead, council members advised Stockton to make the purchase from his department’s equipment fund, which will be reimbursed later in the year should the fund go dry.

In other news:

• The council approved $100,000 in funding from the hazardous materials fund to pave approximately one mile of County Road 1000 North in Franklin in Russell townships.

The road work will run from U.S. 231 at Fincastle west to the Blakesburg area.

Highway Supervisor Mike Ricketts also gave the council an update on application for the 2017 INDOT Community Crossing Grant.

What was a 50-50 matching program in 2016 is now a 75-25 state-local match.

“If we spend $1.333 million on these projects, our cost will be $333,000,” Ricketts said.

Ricketts reported that the projects in question are already planned for later this year, but that the state funding would provide significant assistance to the county.

• Walnut Creek Fire Protection District Treasurer Kathy Deer advised the council of the need for a new truck for the Bainbridge Fire Department.

The department is seeking $43,000 from the Cumulative Fire Fund to cover the purchase of the truck.

The appropriation will be advertised and on the agenda for approval at the June meeting.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: