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Thursday, January 23, 2003

Levinson Wants Defibrillators in State Police Patrols

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson is calling on the New Jersey State Police to equip their patrols in Atlantic County with defibrillators. The seventeen Atlantic County municipalities that have Police Departments already have defibrillators in their police vehicles. The remaining six municipalities are patrolled by the State Police.

"This program to put defibrillators in police cars was one of my key priorities when I became County Executive. It has proved to be highly successful. I feel strongly that it must now be expanded to include all Atlantic County municipalities."

In 2001, at the direction of the County Executive, Atlantic County developed New Jersey's first countywide Defibrillator Program.

The Atlantic County Police In-service Training Division initiated AED (defibrillator) training in January 2001. That first year alone more that 1,000 local police officers received training and forty-seven new defibrillators were distributed to eighteen Atlantic County Police Departments, including Richard Stockton College. As of December 31, 2002, there were 70 defibrillators in use throughout the county and instruction is now a part of Atlantic County's Police In-service Training.

The program, which provides emergency assistance to someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, has saved 12 lives in just 18 months.

"The time has come to expand this program to the six Atlantic County communities (Buena Vista Township, Corbin City, Estell Manor, Folsom, Port Republic and Weymouth Township) that are patrolled by the New Jersey State Police," said Levinson.

"I believe it is essential that the residents of those communities be afforded the same life saving opportunities that are available in Atlantic County's other seventeen municipalities," he added.

Atlantic County Government is prepared to assist State Police in establishing their own defibrillator training programs that could be offered to all troopers that patrol not only the six communities named above, but New Jersey State Police on the Atlantic City Expressway, Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Marine Police.

"In return we are requesting that the New Jersey State Police budget new defibrillators for their patrol units in Atlantic County as part of this expanded program," said Levinson.

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