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Grant provides life-saving technology for law enforcement in Nebraska

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 19:13:11-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thanks to a $6.4 million dollar grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, law enforcement agencies across the state will get new Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs.

Nebraska State Patrol trooper Brian Farmer said AEDs are essential to reviving someone from cardiac arrest.

"You pull out the pad, you stick them on, and it analyzes the heart rhythm to whether a patient needs to be shocked or not," Farmer said. "Then you just continue with your CPR."

Every second counts during a cardiac arrest and first responders often travel great distances for their patients. Farmer said the funding will give patients a better shot at survival.

"It's gonna be different and new, hopefully, we never have to use them. "In case we do, at least we have them to be able to use them," Farmer said.

Nebraska State Patrol will get 457 AEDs that will be placed in marked and unmarked cars in the state. Mitch Krebs with the Helmsley Charitable Trust said these devices check in every night through Wi-Fi.

"What happened in the past, with some of these wonderful life-saving devices, they end up in a duty bag in the trunk of a car...for months at a time without being used," Krebs said. "When an official needs to get those pads out and get them on the person to bring them back to life, they're not ready to go so the connectivity is really important."

Krebs called the devices a "game-changer."

"With the technology we have today with these devices, you and I...without any training whatsoever, utilize a device like this, they have safeguards built in so they can't be used improperly," Krebs said.

For first responders — it could mean the difference between life and death.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust has invested more than $500 million in improving healthcare in rural America.