FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The Floyd County Sheriff's Department received a life-saving gift on Tuesday.
AMR Lifeguard supplied AED defibrillators to each police cruiser with no cost to the department.
"It's another way for us to grow our resources and to increase our capabilities to all of the citizens we serve," explained Bert Absher, Director of Operations.
Officials with the American Heart Association claimed early heart defibrillation can save lives.
"Oftentimes, they're there before EMS is in life-threatening situations," Absher pointed out.
Sheriff John Hunt said many times as they are called out, an ambulance will also be dispatched.
"While we are waiting on that ambulance to respond, why not be able to do something as opposed to sitting there with your hands in your pocket waiting for the ambulance to come?"
Deputies are already trained to use the AED systems.
Sheriff Hunt said when he began his career in law enforcement, things were different.
"A gun belt was nothing but a gun, a handcuff case and a place to hang your flashlight," recalled Hunt. "If you look at a deputy today, he's weighted down with gloves, mask, medical supplies, first-aid kit on his gun belt."
This life-saving technology walks the user through each step and will not administer a shock if it does not detect the need to do so.
"They're fully automated AEDs. You turn them on, you put the patches on the patient and it tells you where to put them," said Absher. "We want to meet the needs of Eastern Kentucky. We want to make a difference. We want to do what has not been done before."
Sheriff Hunt also announced he will offer a pay incentive for all deputies who are also trained in EMS.
"To know we are better equipped to better serve our people, that's what it is all about," said Hunt.
Along with that announcement, Lifeguard will offer those classes at no cost to the deputy. There is an EMS academy in Prestonsburg.
"It's just proven technology that's never been available before this readily in Eastern Kentucky," Absher pointed out.
If another sheriff's department would like to receive AED defibrillators for their cruisers, the sheriff can reach out to Lifeguard.