A $30,000 donation to provide 21 automated external defibrillators (AED) to the Bellingham Police Department was made by Peoples Bank, Roger Jobs Motors and Byron Sprague. This donation allowed for the purchase of AED's to be placed in all Bellingham Police Department marked patrol cars, putting multiple AED's in the field for quick access in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. Getting the AED's into patrol cars was a culmination of a life-saving event, the vision of several people and the generosity of our community.
In April of 2018, a local citizen was at work and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. BPD officers were on scene for an unrelated matter and observed the medical incident. The Officers called for an emergency medical response which was heard by an off-duty fire fighter who had an AED in his vehicle. He responded to the scene and successfully deployed the AED, saving a life. This incident was brought to Bellingham Police Chief David Doll's attention, along with the idea of having AEDs available in all police cars. Interestingly, this idea was already being discussed through a Council that advises Chief Doll on community relations
Byron Sprague, General Manager at Roger Jobs Motors, is a member of the Bellingham Police Chief's Citizens Advisory Council. Sprague brought the idea of adding AED's to all patrol vehicles at a council meeting last year, which was a great idea, but lacked the initial funding to get the equipment purchased. Sprague volunteered to obtain private funding for the project and approached Peoples Bank Chairman, Charles LeCocq, and Roger Jobs Motors, Inc, owner, Roger Jobs, to ask for their financial support for the project. They both immediately agreed to match Sprague's donation of $10,000.00 each.
“I was thrilled when I heard that community members had stepped up and provided this safety equipment to our residents," Mayor Kelli Linville said. “This is what public and private partnerships are all about."
Bellingham Police Chief Doll added, “This generous donation by Peoples Bank, Roger Jobs Motors and Byron Sprague will have a direct and positive impact on our ability to intervene swiftly during sudden cardiac arrest events. Our patrol officers are trained in first aid as we are often first on scene where first aid measures are required. Having the AED's in patrol vehicles enhances our officers' abilities to immediately apply advanced lifesaving treatment when just a few minutes may mean the difference between life and death to a person experiencing sudden cardiac arrest."
Bellingham heart surgeon, Dr. James Douglas says “every second counts in saving a person's life who is suffering a heart attack. For each minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by 10%." Dr. Douglas further states “an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 incidents of sudden cardiac arrest occur outside of hospitals each year in the United States." According to Dr. Douglas “AED's used in the field are designed so they will only administer the life-saving treatment if detectors build into the devices determine a treatment or shock is necessary."
“The installation of AEDs in police patrol vehicles provides an important safety net for the Bellingham community and is part of Peoples Bank's longstanding commitment to supporting the communities where our employees and customers live and work," said Charles LeCocq, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Peoples Bank. “We are pleased to supply the Bellingham Police Department with this critical life-saving equipment and to be a part of this important community initiative."
Roger Jobs Motors owner, Roger Jobs said “we have seen first-hand the exemplary efforts of Bellingham Police Department officers within our community. We feel our support was a way to provide officers with an additional resource to use in their mobility and capability to help save more lives in Bellingham and at the same time let the department know we appreciate the great job they do to serve our community." Roger Jobs Motors, Inc. owns and operates Audi Bellingham, Porsche Bellingham and Roger Jobs Volkswagen.
The AED's have been placed into the marked patrol cars and are ready for use. Corporal Ty Elmendorf has taken the lead in ensuring the proper training is provided to our officers, that the AED's are properly maintained, and the patrol vehicles are marked with a red and white “AED" sticker on the rear window.