Delaware County Sheriff Thomas Mills said Tuesday he is seeking to raise enough funds to pay for at least a dozen new defibrillators for first responders.
Each device — which can make the difference between life and death when an individual is stricken by sudden cardiac arrest — costs about $2,000, the sheriff said.
Mills said automatic external defibrillators should be standard equipment in the vehicles used by all emergency responders.
“This is an ambitious and expensive project — but also a necessary one,” he said.
If a defibrillator is used within the first two to four minutes after a victim collapses from cardiac arrest, the probability of survival increases from 10 percent to 60 percent, he said.
The latest defibrillators have the capability to benefit children now because the manufacturers provide a pediatric cable that allows the device to reduce t he amount of energy it delivers to a young patient, he noted.
“It’s critical that we stay up to speed,” he said.
Those seeking more information about the need for the devices or wish to make a donation were urged to contact Mills at 746-2336 or county Emergency Medical Services Coordinator Steve Hood at 746-9600.
Mills said state grants that previously had been available to help emergency organizations purchase t he devices have dried up.
Donations may be made payable to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, located at 280 Phoebe Lane, Suite One, Delhi, NY 13753. Those wishing to send in checks are asked to designate “Defibrillator Fund” on the reference line.