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San Diego Police To Equip Patrol Cars With Heart Defibulators

Councilman Mark Kersey Friday announced new funding to place automated external defibrillators in patrol vehicles serving the San Diego Police Department's Northeastern Division.

Kersey plans to spend $7,500 from his office's Community Projects, Programs and Services fund to get five AEDs into vehicles this year.

The portable AED provides electrical stimulation to a person in cardiac distress in order to return the heartbeat to a normal rhythm.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,'' Kersey said, noting that February is American Heart Month. "It only makes sense that our police officers -- who are often the first to arrive in an emergency -- are equipped with a tool that is proven to save lives.''

The councilman plans to purchase five of the devices annually until all 15 patrol cars, four sergeant's vehicles in the Northeastern Division and the station itself are outfitted.

"AEDs are proven to increase survival rates among cardiac arrest victims so we need to make this technology readily available in our neighborhoods,'' Kersey said.

The division serves around 234,000 people over nearly 104 square miles, encompassing Carmel Mountain, Miramar, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Sabre Springs and Scripps Ranch. Only one police vehicle serving that wide area is equipped with an AED, according to the councilman.

The AEDs will be provided in partnership with San Diego Project Heart Beat, a program managed by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance, which provides emergency medical services for the city. Their goal is to make AEDs as available as fire extinguishers.