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Drug trial funds defibrillators for police

Cops get life-saving devices

BLANTON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014
cop
FAIRFAX NZ
Constable Rob Keen with an AED.

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Defibrillators save lives and now more frontline police cars in New Plymouth are equipped with them.

Yesterday six automatic external defibrillators (AED) were presented to police by the Department of Medicine Charitable Trust.

New Plymouth Senior Sergeant Allan Whaley said police were often the first at a scene and to have the life-saving devices aboard was a great addition.

"The armed offenders squad have one, the booze bus and dog unit have them and now the majority front-line response cars," he said. "Almost all the stations have one as well."

The Taranaki District Health Board is paid for drug trials and the extra money is used by the trust to buy defibrillators and train those using them.

Yesterday's presentation is part of an initiative to spread the portable devices around the region.

"Every high school has one, they are in gyms and bars," training coordinator Kareen McLeod said. "Basically we want them anywhere that's open and has long hours," she said.

Dr Ian Ternouth said the initiative was unique to Taranaki and there were already about 80 AEDs around the region.

"Defibrillators save lives," he said.

"Most people who drop dead have a heart rhythm problem and if treated with CPR and a shock from an AED can be saved and make a complete recovery."

Ternouth said he would like to see other health boards using money from drug trials to start something similar in their region.

"We want to encourage this around the country."

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