Automated External Defibrillators can mean the difference between life and death for a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest and thanks to a donation from the Waldorf Jaycees, the Charles County Sheriff's Office's supply of the devices has grown to 22.
Sheriff Frederick E. Davis met with Dick Gregory, president of the Waldorf Jaycees Foundation, and Sgt. Paul Gregory, a member of the Jaycees and the Sheriff's Office's official liaison for the organization, on Nov. 21 to formally thank them for providing the funding for the defibrillators (AEDs).
The Sheriff's Office received its first AED in 2003 when Bill Wedding, president of the Charles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Association, and his wife, Elaine, Advanced Life Support training coordinator, donated $2,000 to help the Sheriff's Office purchase the device. Last year, Dick Gregory and Kevin Wedding, then-president of the Waldorf Jaycees Chapter, presented Sheriff Davis with $22,000 on behalf of the Jaycees to fund another 11 AEDs, which cost $1,995 apiece. The Jaycees donated the other 10 AEDs earlier this year.
As emergency responders, Sheriff's Officers respond to reports of people not breathing but until the Sheriff's Office acquired the AEDs, all officers could do was administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a victim suffering sudden cardiac arrest and wait for EMS rescuers to arrive. Each minute that passed without administering a shock with a defibrillator reduced the victim's chances of survival by 7 to 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association.
"These donations have the potential to save a lot of lives and I am very grateful to the Jaycees for helping us provide our officers with this equipment," said Sheriff Davis. "We have enough AEDs now to ensure officers in every district are patrolling with an AED."