|SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois State Police Acting Director Gene P. Marlin today announced an initiative aimed at saving lives in rural areas where emergency medical services may not be immediately available to persons in need. Troopers in six rural state police districts will now be provided with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be used in cases of emergency. The AEDs provide an electrical shock to the heart of an individual who becomes breathless and pulseless.|
"Defibrillators have increased heart attack survival to 50 percent if applied within the first five to eight minutes," said Marlin. "Particularly in rural areas, our troopers are often the first to a medical emergency or to assist a motorist in trouble. This new equipment will help them keep people alive until they can be treated at the hospital."
Marlin said 23 of the defibrillators are being distributed to Districts 9 (Springfield), 13 (DuQuoin), 7 (Rock Island), 19 (Carmi), 22 (Ullin), and 20 (Pittsfield) as part of a pilot project. Their use and success rate will be documented and studied for possible expansion of the program.
"Other police agencies have been able to save six out of ten cardiac arrest victims, and the American Heart Association says 100,000 lives could be saved each year with widespread deployment of AEDs," Marlin said. "The perfect vehicle for this type of life-saving device is the rural police car."
Marlin added that all Illinois state troopers are trained "first responders," providing emergency medical services to those in need. "Our ability to provide CPR, treat people in shock and provide other emergency services has saved many lives over the years. The AEDs are an extension of our commitment to serve people in need," Marlin concluded.