South Dakota law enforcement awarded $3.6 million for new AEDs

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Last week, we told you the Helmsley Charitable Trust granted $3.6 million to South Dakota law enforcement to equip their vehicles with the latest AEDs.

You can always find law enforcement, like Pennington County Deputy Eric Fenton, patrolling streets in the community.

“Many times, we are the first responders. Many times, we beat the ambulance to the call just because we are out in the community so to be able to get there and start providing care is very essential,” Fenton said.

This $3.6 million grant is paying for every law enforcement vehicle in the state of South Dakota with a new, smart, connected AED device.

“Right now we have a limited number, we share them on a daily basis. Sometimes if you are one of the later shifts not every car ends up with an AED in it so for us to have a life-saving tool like this in every single car, it’s going to be huge,” Fenton said.

For Volunteer Fire Departments, like Box Elder, this new addition is incredibly beneficial.

“Which extremely helps the rural communities that are far away from first responders, like us, or even the far-reaching areas of even our district. Sometimes it takes a while to get there,” Assistant Chief of Box Elder Volunteer Fire Adam Kuenkel said.

Using Wi-Fi, the new AED device can send current information, like the victim’s heart rhythm, to the incoming ambulance or the hospital.

“The community, the state as a whole, it’s going to have a huge impact. If we even get one more save out of it, it’s going to benefit greatly across the board,” Kuenkel said.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office will be training with the new device on December 4.

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