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$6.4 million grant buys 2,500 AEDs for law enforcement, first responders in Nebraska

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -A grant to the Department of Health and Human Services is putting an AED in nearly every law enforcement vehicle across Nebraska. First responders said that when it comes to cardiac problems, life and death are separated by just minutes.

This grant is $6.4 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. It provides for 2,500 automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to all law enforcement agencies, first responders, state offices and facilities across Nebraska.

“This benefits everybody,” said Aaron Pospisil with LFR, “It’s not a matter where you live, it affects everybody border to border, whether you live in a rural community or the city limits of Lincoln.”

Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer, said when in cardiac arrest, in the first three minutes after an episode, the survival rate is 75%. Survival rates decrease the longer a patient goes without care. Creating more AED availability is critical for survival rates.

“Close to 100% for all our first responders, law enforcement throughout the state; you can imagine how many lives this is going to save in the state of Nebraska,” said Dr. Anthone.

The new AED has voice instruction that can walk a user through the process. Lancaster County is expected to get 45 AEDs from the grant.

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