State Group Wants to Ensure Local Police Have Access to Life-Saving Devices

WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana 

STATE WIDE--Making sure most of Indiana's police officers have access to an AED to revive people having heart attacks is the goal of Bolt for the Heart. The organization has just finished buying 465 AEDs for all state trooper patrol cars.

Now Bolt for the Heart is beginning to outfit police and sheriff patrol cars for all 92 counties with the defibrillators.

Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten said his AED goes everywhere he does, because often police are first on scene while EMS is still on their way.

"But that three, four, five minutes it takes them to respond that we are there can truly mean the difference between life and death," Bursten said.

"We're at ball games, we're at church events, we're at social clubs, we're a lot of times the first ones on the scene in rural Indiana, so to have this life-saving device with us was needed out there and they picked it up and ran with the ball," said Morgan County Sheriff Rich Myers.

Bolt raised the money for 465 AED's in just four years through their Thanksgiving Day 5K.

"It was kind of a lofty goal, but we thought, yeah we can do this. And what happened was people would come to the race and we got to the point where we're doing a thousand runners, then 2,000 runners, then 3,000 runners and in addition to that corporate sponsorship really picked up in a big way too," Pierre Twer, Bolt for the Heart board president, said.

Twer is the pulse behind Bolt for the Heart. A runner himself, he witnessed a man experience sudden cardiac at the Boston Marathon and wanted to make sure future victims could be survivors too. And by equipping first responders, lives have already been saved by Bolt for Heart AED's.

"They're welcoming of what we're doing, so why not do it. And it's kinda fun and when you get a save, it makes it all worthwhile," Twer said.