58 Officers Trained on Lifesaving Equipment 09-06-00

PHONE: 961-2244

Photo of officer using defibrillator on victim
HEART STARTER — Hawaii County Police Officer Melvin Yamamoto demonstrates how to use one of the Police Department’s new automated external defibrillators. The department recently purchase 27 of the defibrillator kits through asset forfeiture funds and has trained 58 officers in their use.


A total of 58 officers have received formal training on the use of the Hawaii County Police Department’s new automated external defibrillators (AED’s).

The goal is to train every officer on the Big Island how to use the life-saving AED’s, Police Chief Wayne Carvalho said.

From August 28 through September 1, 2000, ten officers from around the Big Island received training to become instructors in the use of the defibrillators.

The training was provided by Sergeant Mark Ward of the Honolulu Police Department and Dr. Craig Thomas, medical director for the HPD’s defibrillator program.

To receive their instructor certification, the trainees had to teach fellow officers how to use the machines, which have been shown to dramatically increase the ability to save the lives of cardiac arrest victims. During the last two days of their training, the trainees instructed 48 other officers on how to use the AED kits.

Twenty-seven defibrillator kits were purchased without cost to the county through asset forfeiture funds for $72,218.79, Chief Carvalho said, and the department plans to purchase more as funds become available.

The instrument incorporates a rhythm analysis system with adhesive pads and connecting cables, which are attached to cardiac patients to record their heart rhythm. It automatically delivers an electric shock to victims who need it to get their heart beating regularly.

Police officers are frequently the first to arrive at the scene of an accident or a violent crime, Carvalho said, and the use of automated external defibrillators have been credited with saving numerous lives in other jurisdictions where police have used them.

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