The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office has deployed 11 new automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to significantly increase the number of potentially life-saving devices available at the Alexandria Courthouse and Public Safety Center and in deputies’ cruisers. AEDs are portable electronic devices that automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and treat them through defibrillation.
In August, five cruisers assigned to civil process and transportation deputies were equipped with AEDs. Three more were installed at the Alexandria Courthouse on King Street so that in addition to the single unit at the first floor security screening, AEDs are now available opposite the elevators on the second, third and fourth floors. Finally, three more were placed in public use areas at the Public Safety Center on Mill Road.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne asked his staff to pursue options for equipping cruisers and facilities with AEDs after a witness testifying in court in Arlington earlier this year experienced a medical emergency and the judge administered CPR to save his life. This summer, the Sheriff’s Office obtained five AEDs from the Alexandria Fire Department and then purchased six more. Cruisers assigned to deputies who serve civil process and one assigned to deputies who transport inmates and other subjects now have AEDs in carry bags so they can use them in the community. Deputies at the courthouse, already trained on AEDs, are now working to familiarize other courthouse employees with AED use.