Summerside Police Department gets 1st defibrillator

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The Summerside Police Department now has a defibrillator in one of its patrol cars, and one officer hopes it will be able to get three more machines next budget year. 

Cpl. Jason Blacquiere said often police arrive before the paramedics at car accidents and other medical emergencies.

"It's just another tool to help us better deal with the public and give assistance when we can," he said.

Eighty-five per cent of cardiac arrests in Canada happen outside of hospitals, and having an automated external defibrillator or AED close by can make all the difference.

The American Heart Association warns that for every minute lost before defibrillation, the survival rate decreases by seven to 10 per cent. After 12 minutes, the survival rate plummets to less than five per cent.

$2K price tag

When CPR and an AED are both used within five minutes of a cardiac arrest, the chance of survival rises by nearly 75 per cent, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Blacquiere said he could have used a defibrillator in several cases in the last couple of years, and that's only him personally.

"Ideally we'd have them in all our patrol cars," he said, adding that the machines are easy to operate.

The defibrillator cost the force about $2,000.

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