Vancouver police save man's life with defibrillator

First successful resuscitation since AEDs purchased in October

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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Vancouver police say they’ve saved a life with a new automated external defibrillator purchased in October.

All city patrol cars are now equipped with the AEDs, which can deliver a lifesaving shock to a person having a heart attack.

The device came in handy about 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Detective Robert Givens was leaving the police’s West Precinct office on Stapleton Road when he saw a man in distress lying on the sidewalk.

The 72-year-old victim wasn’t breathing, so Givens started rescue breathing and CPR, and radio­ed for paramedics.

Moments later, Officer Leonard Gabriel drove by in a patrol car and saw Givens aiding the man. He grabbed the AED from the car and began assisting Givens.

Gabriel attached the paddles while Givens continued the rescue breathing. The AED administered a shock, and the paramedics arrived and transported the patient to a local hospital.

The man, whose name was not released, was in critical condition Thursday.

According to a police news release, officers have responded to dozens of such calls since the devices were purchased in October, and have used the AEDs several times. This was the first life saved, however.

The department has 60 AEDs in its patrol cars and have applied for a grant to buy 50 more defibrillators to put in its other vehicles.