Grand Rapids police to install AEDs in cruisers

An Automatic External Defibrillator. (Dec. 27, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Soon Grand Rapids police will add another lifesaving device to their response cruisers.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are going into 75 cars to hopefully help save lives. The Grand Rapids Fire Department have been equipped with AEDs for years now.

EMT Director Mark Fankhauser told 24 Hour News 8 in 2016 they’ve responded to 190 calls for cardiac arrests. Of that, 67 patients got a pulse back after administering the AED.

That’s aligns with the national average, 35 percent, and is considered successful because those calls hinder on if 911 is called early enough.

24 Hour News 8 spoke to one man who knows firsthand the difference these devices can make.

Grand Rapids Auto Parts owner Stuart Rapaport is a busy man, but in February 2014 he went into full cardiac arrest at his shop. Two customers performed CPR until the fire department arrived.

“With the [AED] they got my heart going I don’t know if it was once or twice they had to shock it but they did get it going,” Rapaport explained.

The same kind of AED that saved Rapaport will now be installed in the cruisers.

“It just makes sense that we get them in the cruisers… [for] assaults, shootings, anytime anyone is experiencing medical trauma. There’s a number of times our officers are there first where they could provide CPR, but with these it’s just one more step they can help save a person’s life,” GRPD Officer Jason Gady told 24 Hour News 8 during a demonstration of the device.

Rapaport applauds the AED installations.

“Every day [I] wake up [and] realize what a gift it is and I know that’s kind of a cliche but it’s true and to be given a continued chance to live — it’s a great blessing… I think the fireman and policeman don’t get enough credit for what they do. An added service they’re able to provide to help people to give them continued life is a plus,” Rapaport said.