Pitt Co. sheriff fighting for funds to save lives

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Some life-saving machines are deployed with fifty-four Pitt County Sheriff’s deputies and are responsible for saving many people in eastern North Carolina.

“If we can get there in time and CPR is in progress, we can save that person’s life,” said Sheriff Neil Elks, Pitt County.

Pitt County deputies with AEDs or Automated External Defibrillators are saving lives.

“I was at my house and I heard a subject down, unresponsive,” said Elks. “So, I responded. I come running in the house with the AED. The paramedics were happy to see it because they didn’t have one.”

Pitt County Sheriff’s Office has fifty-four AEDs in use to use in response to cardiac emergencies. Before the machines, survival rates were low.

“For a number of years, two percent of the individuals were survival patients,” said Chad Singleton, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office. “In other words, walked out of the hospital completely intact.”

Now, more than thirty-three percent of those who suffer heart-related medical emergencies survive.

The life-saving machines were purchased through a grant. But the AEDs need new batteries, costing $400 a piece, which is currently not budgeted.

Sheriff Neil Elks said his office must find the funds.

“It’s such a simple task that you can do to make a difference in a person’s life,” said Elks. “The cost that it costs us to do that is priceless compared to what our results are. We have great results with this thing.”

Elks plans to address the county to secure the money needed.

If that doesn’t work, he is willing to employ fundraising efforts, including a GoFundMe page to cover the cost.

Elks said his father died of a heart attack, so he knows personally how important these machines are.

He plans to ask for the additional funds at the county’s next meeting.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s