Tualatin police get a bump in saving lives

Tualatin police get a bump in saving lives
Courtesy of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue

TUALATIN, Ore. – A generous donation to the Tualatin Police Department could save lives.

Tualatin businesses Air Products and Novellus, working along with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, donated $1,500 toward two automated external defibrillators for the Tualatin Police Department.

Now five police cars will be equipped to handle life-threatening situations, a significant boost from the previous number of three vehicles that carried the devices.

Prior to this donation, most Tualatin police would respond to cardiac arrest calls by performing CPR. Police officials said they usually had to wait until firefighters showed up at the scene to use a defibrillator.

"CPR keeps a person's blood flowing, and police were already saving lives. But the AED is the tool that can restore a normal heartbeat,” said Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighter/paramedic Patrick Fale. “If all of the police officers have AEDs as well as CPR training, we really will give cardiac arrest patients a much better chance at survival.”

The national average for patients who survive cardiac arrest is only about five percent.  However, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue officials said the survival rate for patients in their service area has exceeded the national rate over the past several years, ranging from 11 percent to 23 percent.

Last week, a Wilsonville police officer saved a man’s life by using a defibrillator.