Vernon County deputies carry new lifesaving equipment - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Vernon County deputies carry new lifesaving equipment

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Vernon County Sheriff John B. Spears, Sergeant Charlie Jacobson, Deputy Greg Lawton, Chuck Stelzner, Kathie Stelzner, Kyle Bakkum (CEO-Vernon Memorial Healthcare), Jim Klock (Administrative Director of Emergency Services-Gundersen Lutheran), Tom Tornstrom Vernon County Sheriff John B. Spears, Sergeant Charlie Jacobson, Deputy Greg Lawton, Chuck Stelzner, Kathie Stelzner, Kyle Bakkum (CEO-Vernon Memorial Healthcare), Jim Klock (Administrative Director of Emergency Services-Gundersen Lutheran), Tom Tornstrom

VIROQUA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Being in a position to help save a life is sometimes part of a deputy's job.  Now, thanks to a grant and donations, deputies now have one more tool with them to make that happen.

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears says that the department now has twenty AED's, or Automatic External Defibrillators.  The units will go in the squad cars that patrol the county all day, every day.

According to Sheriff Spears, "We believe that the placement of AEDs in our patrol cars is a great way for our officers to help improve the safety of the communities we serve.  We thank our generous donors for their support; without them, this initiative would not have been possible."

The money for the AED's, according to Sheriff Spears, came from a grant and donations from  Vernon Memorial Healthcare, Gundersen Lutheran Healthcare, Tri-State Ambulance Service, and Chuck and Kathie Stelzner. 

The AED's cost was approximately $31,000.

According to the American Heart Association, Sudden Cardiac Arrest can be successfully treated with an AED.  Communities that have an AED program can have survival rates of 40 percent or higher. 

Spears says deputies may be sent to help EMT's in an emergency.  Because the deputies may arrive before emergency responders, having the equipment and training can help increase survival rates.

Every minute without CPR or defibrillation lessens the chance of survival of sudden cardiac arrest by 7-10 percent according to the American Heart Association.

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