New fundraiser aims to equip all Hamilton County Sheriff’s vehicles with AED

A new fundraiser aims to raise enough money to equip every Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle with an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The effort is a partnership between the Christ Hospital Foundation, the Rotary Club of Cincinnati and the sheriff’s office. The agencies are hosting a morning kickoff event on Monday, July 31 at the Joint & Spine Center on the Christ Hospital Network’s main campus in Mount Auburn.

Featured speakers include Debbie Hayes, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital Health Network, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey and Steve King, immediate past president of the Rotary Club.

The event runs from 7:30-9 a.m.

Main entrance to The Christ Hospital

Project partners stressed that the world saw firsthand the importance of accessible AEDs last January when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a game against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Following that on-field incident, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Rotary Club of Cincinnati to discuss what the law enforcement agency described as a “critical need” to add an AED to each of its patrol vehicles.

From May 2022 through May 2023, there were more than 1,200 cardiac event calls to areas served by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, according to a joint release announcing the fundraiser. The release stated that more than two-thirds of the county’s 130 patrol vehicles don’t have an AED.

Every minute of delay in the use of an AED reduces the survival rate by 7-10%, per data from The Christ Hospital.

The sheriff’s office noted the survival rate of a person experiencing a cardiac event improves from 10% to 40% when first responders have immediate access to an AED.

A key member of the partnership is Christ Hospital’s Project Heart ReStart initiative

Since 2006, the program has worked to prevent what it calls “unnecessary cardiac deaths” through education and community outreach. That includes offering CPR and AED training, increasing access to publicly placed AEDs and building awareness about the reality of sudden cardiac arrest.

As of July, Project Heart ReStart has provided 210 AEDs to nonprofit organizations in Greater Cincinnati and trained more than 4,200 people on CPR. 

Additional information about Project Heart ReStart is available on the Christ Hospital website.

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