2018-07-11 / Front Page

County applies for defibrillator grant

New AEDs needed for police, firefighters
BY ERIC LEVINE
810-452-2689 • elevine@
mihomepaper.com


Sgt. Ron DuBois Sgt. Ron DuBois Sanilac County is seeking a federal grant to replace aging equipment used by police and fire departments to revive victims of cardiac arrest.

The sheriff department has already crossed one hurdle in the application process, receiving preapproval for the $50,000 USDA-Rural Development grant to buy 72 automated external defibrillators.

Yesterday (July 10), county commissioners were expected to take up the sheriff department’s request to approve the county match of $25,400, which, when added to the grant, would cover the total estimated cost of $75,240 for the AEDs.

Once the county board signs off on the match, the sheriff department will submit the application for final approval.

“Sanilac County is required to fund the $25,240 match,” Biniecki reported to Sanilac County Commissioners in a July 2 memo.

“Now the good news. Sanilac County Medical Control has been kept in this loop and has agreed to fund the (entire) match…”

Sergeant Ron DuBois, who wrote the grant application, is confident the county will receive the grant.

“Once it’s preapproved, we’ve never had an issue (with previous applications),” said DuBois.

The new defibrillators are needed to old equipment, some no longer in working condition, purchased through a grant in 2001.

Being able to provide police and firefighters with new lifesaving equipment all at once is “huge,” said DuBois.

“Countless lives have been saved over the years by the first responders and the AEDs which they carry…(However the) current AEDs are about 18 years old and several of them have had significant issues,” DuBois wrote in the grant application.

“The AEDs are a highly complex system involving sensors and high voltage electricity. The American Hospital Association estimates the life expectancy of a defibrillator to be 5 years and the Department of the Army Technical Bulletin estimates an 8 year life cycle. During research for this grant it was found out that two of the area Police Departments do not have any functioning AEDs at this time.”

DuBois continued, “In addition to the aging problem of our AEDs, we do not currently have enough of them. The Sanilac County Sheriff’s Office currently has several units which do not have any AEDs in them. Those units tend to be the ones less likely to be responding to medical emergencies, but it is still a distinct possibility.”

The grant application ties the AEDs to the opioid crisis, because of the need to apply electrical shocks to restart the hearts of overdose victims that go into cardiac arrest.

In 2017 there were 17 confirmed opioid overdoses and six deaths in Sanilac County.

Pending grant approval, the sheriff department anticipates the defibrillators will arrive by the end of summer.

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