After hearing that the current devices carried by officers in their patrol vehicles are almost a decade old, the Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors agreed to support the purchase of new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at a recent meeting.
An AED can be used to jumpstart a heart in the event of cardiac arrest, and as township manager Tom Beil explained, there have been two instances in the last 10 years when the devices were used successfully by police officers.
"(Police) are usually the first ones on the scene (of a medical emergency)," he said. "This is something they use
and it’s gotten results."
At 10 years old, the police department's current AEDs "are nearing the end of their useful life," he added.
Beil explained that thanks to its relationship with a DeSales University staff member—Dr. William Zajdel, D.O., who also serves as the medical director for the Upper Saucon Township Ambulance Corps—the township will be able to take advantage of the university's volume purchase discount, which is only available for a limited time.
The volume discount will save the township more than $2,600 over the price it would pay if the AEDs were purchased through a state contract, he said.
Assistant township manager Robert Kassel reported to supervisors that the township's annual revenues to date are "very strong compared to other years."
"So we can afford to purchase," he said.
Supervisor John Gilda was absent from the meeting, which was held Sept. 9.
Photo: An automated external defibrillator (file photo)