WEST MILTON — In an emergency, every second counts. Thanks to a grant from the Miami County Foundation, the West Milton police department is expanding their emergency services.
The department applied for the grant through the Miami County Foundation and was awarded funding to purchase three AED units — automated external defibrillators, portable units that stop life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias through the application of electrical stimulation.
According to the American Heart Association, early defibrillation with an AED can more than double a victim’s chance of survival. In West Milton, police officers often are able to respond to the scene of a medical emergency before medics arrive to begin life-saving services.
“We’re almost always the first responders to the scene,” Officer Ross Grove said. “We hope we’ll never have to use them, but it’s another tool we’ll have to help the community.”
The department has not yet had to use the defibrillators, Grove said, but all officers have been certified in their use as well as in First Aid and CPR. The units were installed in police cruisers earlier this month.
The AEDs can also be fitted with pediatric pads, which reduce the shock to a safe level for children.
To purchase the AEDS, the department teamed up with the American Red Cross, Grove said.
“The money will go back to the Miami County Red Cross,” Grove said.
According to Cheryl Stiefel-Francis, executive director for the Miami County Foundation, grants will also be distributed to libraries in Bradford, Covington, Pleasant Hill, Piqua, Tipp City, Troy and West Milton as part of the foundation’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Donations are being accepted to help the Miami County Foundation continue its grant making into the future. Contributions may be mailed to P.O. Box 1526, Piqua, OH 45356 or online at www.miamicountyfoundation.org.
For further information, contact the office at 773-9012.