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Ready for a heartbeat


Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict, left, stands with Olympic Medical Center Foundation Associate Executive Director Sara Maloney, Deputy Josh Ley and Undersheriff Ronald Peregrin. Ley is holding one of six automated external defibrillators donated to the office by the foundation.

Six Clallam County Sheriff's patrol cars are equipped with a little extra life-saving equipment thanks to the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.

The foundation donated six automated external defibrillators to the Clallam County Sheriff's Office on Friday, June 25, enabling deputies to respond to cardiac arrest if encountered.

The defibrillators deliver a shock to help regulate heartbeat during cardiac arrest.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict said Deputy Josh Ley often responds to car accidents, where it isn't uncommon for someone to go into cardiac arrest.

If Ley is on the scene before medics, he'll be equipped to try to save that person's life, Benedict said.

Benedict said medics usually are on the scene when deputies arrive but the defibrillators are good "insurance."

The small, light defibrillators are very intuitive and able to give instructions as well as tell if the victim is an adult or a child, Olympic Medical Center Foundation Associate Executive Director Sara Maloney said.

As soon as the pads are placed on a person's chest, the heartbeat is assessed and the defibrillator will give a shock if needed.

"It's very advanced," she said.

The donation is part of the foundation's Automated External Defibrillator Program, launched in 2009 with police and fire departments in Sequim and Port Angeles.

The program is funded through the Red, Set Go! Heart Lunch held in Sequim each February, Maloney said.

The 2010 event raised $20,000 designated for the program, she said.

Amanda Winters can be reached at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

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