SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Law enforcement in South Dakota will now be able to serve their communities even better. Thanks to a grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, agencies can equip their vehicles with new AEDs.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded a $3.6 million grant for the AEDs, which means more lifesaving tools are in your community.
1,200 of the next generation AEDs will soon be making their way into law enforcement vehicles across the state.
“We’re working to help those folks who show up before EMS arrives, mainly law enforcement officers, conservation officers, state parks personnel,” rural health care program director, Mitch Krebs said.
Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead says these will be beneficial in serving rural communities.
“We respond 30 times a month right now on medical emergencies out in rural Minnehaha County, and while they’re equipped currently with AEDs, this next generation equipment is going to be a tremendous benefit not only for the deputies but for the patients as well,” Minnehaha County Sheriff, Mike Milstead said.
Training and distribution of the AEDs is already underway across the state.
“We’ve already completed two-thirds of the training in eastern and central South Dakota with distributing approximately 350 devices thus far,” director of EMS and Trauma, Marty Link said.
By receiving these new AEDs, that means current devices in communities can be re-purposed.
“The value of re-purposing our current units is huge, we’re not only going to equip some of our other deputy cars, that aren’t patrol cars, but detectives, investigators so that we all have them in our car, but also re-purpose in areas of our community,” Milstead said.
“Placing these devices in the hands of law enforcement officials strengthens our system of care in the state which relies on everybody from the moment 911 is called so that everybody can work together to save a life,” Link said.
South Dakota is the first state to receive the AEDs through this program. Krebs says they plan to continue this into six more states over the next few years.