Local law enforcement trains with new, smart AEDs

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Local law enforcement agencies got hands on training in Rapid City Wednesday morning, working with new, smart AEDs.

Thanks to the Helmsley Charitable Trust, South Dakota law enforcement agencies are receiving $3.6 million dollars worth of new equipment to better serve patients in cardiac arrest. In rural communities, law enforcement is often times first on scene of medical emergencies. This grant makes it easier for patients to receive the timely and life-saving care they need.

“The AED itself will talk you through the process,” said Sgt. Wayne Asscherick. “This AED, with the new technology that’s in it, makes it so easy you don’t have to worry about all the different aspects of getting the AED in place. It tells you exactly what to do. You just have to listen to the voice prompts.”

The South Dakota Department of Health was on site in the Public Safety Building in Rapid City to help law enforcement familiarize themselves with the new equipment.

What makes the AEDs “smart” is their self-monitoring capabilities that sense when a shock is needed. From there, WiFi connectivity can send near real-time information to local hospitals to speed up the transition of care.

The Rapid City Police Department received 45 smart AEDs. The Box Elder Police Department received eight. The South Dakota Highway Patrol will receive roughly 200. Statewide, 1,200 will be distributed. They will be rolled out into vehicles over the next several weeks.

Most law enforcement agencies already have AED’s in their vehicles and while they will be replaced, they will be put to use for years to come.

“Those AEDs, we’re going to pull out of the car and part of the grant is we want to take your older AEDs, even though they work very well, we want to get those out into the community,” said Asscherick. “Get those into the community, don’t just get them and put them in storage so they can be utilized.”

Asscherick says the placement of those extra AEDs has yet to be determined.

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