The City of Columbus has outfitted each of its police patrol cars with external defibrillators as part of the City’s larger effort under Mayor Kristen Brown’s administration to ensure optimal victim survivability in any life-threatening situation. The medical devices also will be placed at City facilities, including City Hall, in case of emergencies.
External defibrillators are medical devices that diagnose life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, or cardiac arrhythmia, and deliver electrical energy to the heart to restore its normal rhythm. They are used in emergency situations on patients who have collapsed due to sudden cardiac arrest. When used in the first few minutes following collapse, these devices often save lives.
The City has purchased 67 external defibrillators, 55 of which will be placed in Columbus Police Department patrol cars. Other units will be placed at city facilities and in Columbus Fire Department administrative vehicles. The fire department’s emergency vehicles are already equipped with the devices.
The defibrillators are an important piece in ensuring victim survivability. Under Mayor Brown’s direction, the City has set a goal of having Columbus Fire Department EMTs and paramedics to any emergency medical scene within 4 minutes more than 90 percent of the time, with a Columbus Regional Hospital transport ambulance arriving on scene in less than 9 minutes more than 90 percent of the time.
Police officers are often the first to arrive at any emergency scene. By equipping patrol officers with external defibrillators, they can immediately begin life-saving procedures until emergency medical personnel arrive.
Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix hopes to have all patrol cars equipped with the devices and officers trained by the end of February. The external defibrillators were purchased from Northern Kentucky EMS for $73,700, which was paid for from the City’s general fund capital improvement money.