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.