With the addition of 340 new AEDs this week, about half the state troopers in Michigan now have such life-saving devices. - PHOTO: Michigan State Police

With the addition of 340 new AEDs this week, about half the state troopers in Michigan now have such life-saving devices.

PHOTO: Michigan State Police

This week, 340 AEDs are being distributed to troopers across the state, which will put an AED in about half the Michigan State Police’s patrol fleet.

An AED is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States and more than 350,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest each year. Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED.

Troopers are trained in AED use as part of the department’s existing first aid curriculum.

“A trooper is often the first emergency responder to arrive when someone contacts 911 for a medical emergency. We know moments matter. The faster we can assist, the better the chance of survival,” says Lt. Col. Dale Hinz, commander of the Field Operations Bureau. “Previously, we had far fewer of these lifesaving devices scattered throughout the state.”

Using funding from position vacancies, the department purchased 340 Powerheart G5 AEDs for a total cost of $486,630.

“We receive roughly 10 donated devices each year from generous efforts like ‘Bolt for the Heart,’ and we are extremely grateful for any donations we receive,” said Hinz. “We will gladly continue to accept donated AEDs to keep adding to our stock and to replace older models but being able to make this purchase will surely save lives.”

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