Grant will put defibrillators in all Putnam Co. law enforcement vehicles

OTTAWA — Putnam County 911 has been awarded a $45,152 grant from the J.E. Belch Charitable Trust to purchase 32 new cardiac AED devices to replace and supplement units in the sheriff’s office and every police department in Putnam County.

The trust was established from the estate wishes of J. Earl Belch, CEO of the Columbus Grove Telephone Company that was started by his father, Joe Belch.

AEDs differ from medical defibrillators in that they are considered a public access device designed to be used by anyone, whether they are trained or not. The device walks the user through the rescue until EMS arrives or the person is revived.

Putnam County first placed AED units in law enforcement vehicles in 2006. Thanks to the donation from the Belch Trust, the 15-year old units can be replaced and units can be added to vehicles not already equipped, according to Putnam County 911 Coordinator Brad Brubaker.

“We feel that by placing the AED units in our law enforcement cars an officer working for the police departments and deputies working across the county would have a probability of being in the area of a cardiac emergency, which would decrease the amount of time a victim would go without having live-saving tools in the event of a heart attack and hopefully decrease the odds of a person dying from their cardiac emergency,” Brubaker said.

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