Published: February 19, 2015
PLANT CITY – About 18 months ago, the Rotary Club promised to raise enough money to equip each Plant City police officer with a portable device that can restore the heart’s rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest.
Last week, the Rotary Club of Plant City made good on its pledge, delivering the last 20 automated external defibrillators for the police department’s fleet. In all the Rotary donated 47 of the units, valued at a total of $50,000.
Police Chief Ed Duncan said his officers often arrive at medical emergencies before paramedics so it was a good idea to equip them with the defibrillators.
“One of the most frustrating things for an officer is to get to the scene and not have what is needed to help,” Duncan said.
Duncan said the department has used the defibrillators in at least four instances since the Rotary delivered the first units in 2013.
Rotary Club President Brian Griffin and former club president Aaron M. Davis presented the last of the defibrillators to the police at the Rotary’s Feb. 16 meeting. Davis was president when the Rotary started its drive to purchase the defibrillators.
Among other fundraisers, the club used the proceeds from its popular annual Dancing with the Locals to raise money for the devices. The club originally thought it would need to raise $100,000 but the units cost less than originally expected, club public relations representative Jim Scott said.
The department has enough of the devices so every patrol officer and supervisor has one in his or her police vehicle, Duncan said.
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