Life Saving Defibrillators In Police Cars
Highway Patrol, Strategic Traffic Unit and Commercial Vehicle Safety Team
vehicles now have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help save
Police has rolled out AEDs in 368 vehicles across the country as part of its
commitment to safe homes, safe roads, and safe communities.
“We are often the first on the scene at crashes or medical events,” says
Superintendent Steve Greally, Director National Road Policing Centre.
“Having an AED in vehicles means we can provide support to someone
suffering from heart failure until the medical emergency team arrives.”
An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock
through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular
heartbeat (arrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden
cardiac arrest (SCA). According to St John, SCA is one of the leading causes
of death in New Zealand.
“Someone living in an urban area might expect a rapid response from a
mobile medical service, like St John, but this isn’t the case in the more
rural parts of New Zealand,” says Superintendent Greally.
An AED can increase someone’s survival chances by up to 44 per cent.
Without an AED the chance of survival decreases by 10 per cent for each
minute that passes without defibrillation.
Steve Dickson, Acting Road Policing Manager Northland says, “I have no
doubt that the availability of defibs in Police vehicles in remote Northland
communities will save a life – it’s just a matter of when.” Northland
District has been allocated 10 AEDs.
Southern District Acting Road Policing Manager Ian Temple says “One of our
fundamental roles is to preserve life. Having these defibrillators in many of
our patrol vehicles in rural and provincial areas means we’re now better
placed to help people in need.” Southern District has been allocated 23
Dan Mattison, Road Policing Manager Tasman says, “We have a geographically
spread district with a scattered, aging population and limited resources. Our
staff are out in the community and often the first on hand in times of
crisis. These AEDs are a critical tool to enable officers to respond
effectively when crucial minutes can determine the outcome.” Tasman has
been allocated 13 AEDs.
Canterbury District Road Policing Manager Natasha Rodley says, “Having
defibrillators means we can act quickly and potentially save more lives. When
it comes to cardiac arrests, a few minutes can make all the difference as to
whether someone comes home from hospital or not.” Canterbury District has
been allocated 14 AEDs.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST) National Manager Mike Brooklands says,
“Having the AED in the CVST vehicles ensures an ever-wider coverage across
the network especially in the remote rural areas. We can support families in
critical times of need by decreasing the response time of other emergency
services and potentially save a life.” The four CVSTs have been allocated
Districts Auckland City, Waitemata and Counties/Manukau have 66 AEDs. Waikato
and Bay of Plenty have received 65 AEDs. Central District has 34 AEDs while
Eastern has 13 and Wellington has eight. The remaining 52 have been allocated
to national road safety vehicles (Highway Patrol and Mobile Road Safety
The 368 AEDs rolled out to districts are additional to existing district