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Fla. dept. adds AEDs to patrol cars

Lakeland PD trains officers to use defibrillators to shock stopped hearts.

The Ledger

LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeland Police Department officers now have the training and equipment they need to give people a shock for their own good.

The department’s marked cars contain automated external defibrillators, designed for use in the field, that give instructions for determining whether someone who is unresponsive needs his or her heart restarted.

Multiple training sessions were held Tuesday and Wednesday, courtesy of Philips Healthcare, which worked with the department to provide discounts on the devices. And, as of midnight Wednesday, dispatchers are prepared to send officers on that type of call.

“We will be able to get life-saving tools to the scene more quickly,” Interim Chief Larry Giddens said Wednesday at a news conference to showcase the device and thank people who contributed $122,500 last year for 131 defibrillators.

These defibrillators are “extremely easy to use,” said Dennis Matarese, district manager for Philips Healthcare, which makes them. “You turn the device on. You do what it says and press the shock button if instructed.”