When hit by a heart attack, time if of the essence for the victim. In Flagler County, the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest may have just gone up.
The latest group of Flagler County Sheriff's Office employees went through the training process to use the latest portable automated external defibrillators, or AED for short.
How much does Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre believe in their importance?
He's in on the training for good reason.
“We have a community that is 50 percent over 50 years old. We're in the target group for cardiac events,” Manfre said.
Eighty AEDs will be placed in vehicles in the sheriff's office fleet, including the motorcycle units.
In many cases, deputies are first on the scene and Palm Coast's fire chief said these machines are so simple anyone can use them.
"Their cop-proof, firefighter-proof," said Chief Mike Beadle, who has seen them work first-hand. “I've got one in my vehicle, we've got them in all our fire trucks, all our support staff have them as well. You just never know where you're going to be. Hopefully you're at the right place at the right time and it comes in handy.”
The best part about this? The money to buy these devices, about $90,000, came from tickets issued within the city limits of Palm Coast.
Sheriff Manfre loved the idea of those breaking laws paying to help save lives.
“It comes from a fund that we take from the tickets produced here in Palm Coast," Manfree said. "So it's revenue-neutral to the community but it's going to provide a great benefit.”
Sheriff Manfre added this just takes the motto of “to protect and serve” to a new level and these new devices, which literally talks a person through the lifesaving steps, lets them take on a duty they all have.
The city of Palm Coast was instrumental in buying the AEDs.
City leaders let the fund build up so that the money could be used for such a major expense. Two of the council members were on hand to watch some of the training Friday morning.