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City Leaders Add New Automatic External Defibrillators To Police Vehicles

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)-- When the call of a heart attack comes into Pittsburgh's 911 center, Pittsburgh EMS and Fire units respond.

Both carry equipment to shock the heart, but that equipment is old and Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich says, "We are ordering 68 new heart monitors that the paramedics use day in and day out."

Alongside those units for EMS, 118 Automatic External Defibrillators are being ordered for the city's fire trucks and Hissrich adds, "We are going to start putting AEDs on the police vehicles across the city. So we're ordering 80 AEDs for police officers."

The order also includes four to be placed in Animal Control vehicles, another four for the city's hazmat vehicles and seven for emergency management vehicles.

Two hundred in all -- and for the first time fully compatible with each other.

"So what we will be able to do now is unplug those pads so when paramedics arrive they can just hook into the wires and we will not have to take the pads off the victim," he said.

All of this isn't cheap, $3.1 million, which Hissrich says is worth it: "You're most likely to survive a heart attack or cardiac arrest if it's a witnessed arrest and someone starts CPR and applies an AED within the first few minutes."

Hissrich hopes to have the units on the street by the end of the year.

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