Tucson Police Department Chief Chris Magnus held a press conference this summer to announce a new donation of 25 automated external defibrillators from the Steven M. Gootter Foundation. This brings the total of these life-saving devices in Tucson patrol cars to 100.
In an interview with Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA-TV, Magnus explained how the AEDs are used; “When we get a call through 911 that someone may have suffered a cardiac event, that’s of course when seconds count,” he said. “Both police and fire are dispatched at the same time. This means, whoever gets there first, in many cases it is the police, can begin life-saving efforts right away, especially because we have these AEDs in our vehicles, and because our officers are trained in CPR.”
The foundation has made it a primary mission of their work in defeating sudden cardiac death to supply AEDs to police and sheriff patrol units as well as a long list of public places including high schools, theatres and gyms. To date, more than 400 have been distributed in Pima County. Cardiomyopathy, a scarring of heart tissue which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, has been on the rise among COVID-19 survivors, making the widespread presence and use of AEDs even more critical.
The 25 AED units donated to the TPD were made possible by a grant to the foundation from the Tucson chapter of 100+ Women Who Care.
The foundation also donated 10 AEDs to the Oro Valley Police Department for their patrol cars, bringing their total to 20. Tucsonan Todd Miller ,who was saved by an AED in an Oro Valley patrol car several years ago, attended the presentation in July to personally attest to the life -saving importance of these installations.