Cornwall police cruisers to have defibrillators

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – City police officers facing a situation where someone has had a sudden heart attack will now be able to provide life-saving treatment before a firefighter or paramedic arrives.

The Cornwall Community Police Service has been able to get a dozen Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) through the Cornwall/SDG Paramedic Service to have in their police cruisers.

The units, which provide an electric current through the chest to a person suffering sudden cardiac arrest, are on loan from the EMS at no cost to the police service.

The Cornwall/SDG Paramedic Service was able to get them through the Public Access Defibrillator Program – the same program that puts the units in public places like the civic complex.

Updating the police board on the plan Wednesday, Cornwall Police Chief Dan Parkinson indicated the AEDs are not intended to change the protocol of the EMS and Cornwall Fire Department as first responders.

There is no added cost for training as police officers are already trained in CPR, first aid and the use of AEDs.

The idea came from a letter in December from local resident Ronald Wilson, whose wife died from a heart attack in March 2014. At the time, police only had one AED in a supervisor’s car.