Beaverton police officers are more prepared than ever to respond to cardiac emergencies in the community.
In addition to having automated external defibrillators in most patrol cars, all 140 sworn police officers learned the same high-performance CPR used by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighter paramedics as part of a pilot program between the fire district and police department.
Every two years, law enforcement officers must renew their first aid, CPR and AED certification with the American Heart Association. But this year, the Beaverton Police Department went further.
At the end of January, TVF&R personnel taught 10 members of the Beaverton Police Department’s training division how to perform high-performance CPR by using a cardiac monitor to provide instant feedback on key performance indicators for depth, rate, pause and amount of time performing chest compressions. Over the next six weeks, that team then trained the department’s police officers.
As part of the partnership to assist officers with the training, TVF&R loaned a cardiac monitor to the department.
“The monitor allows them to practice and instantly see how well they are doing,” says TVF&R Lt. Jeff Campbell. “The feedback helps improve their performance and make adjustments as needed.”
Being able to follow the same training approach as TVF&R and measure the effectiveness of chest compressions are key, says Officer Jeff DeBolt, a senior training officer with Beaverton Police.
“Having the monitor to do training with is phenomenal,” DeBolt says. “It demystifies the process. Now, we’re starting on the same page as firefighters. We’re part of the team, and we know the plan. Our officers won’t have to tap out when TVF&R crews arrive. They can continue to be part of the rotation, providing high-performance CPR.”
The community benefits from this teamwork, Campbell says. “The reality is police officers can arrive on scene before our crews because they are already on the road.”
Research shows that early intervention buys time for cardiac arrest patients. Effective CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
“We’re grateful that TVF&R was willing to partner with us, which improves our training and ultimately makes the public safer,” DeBolt says. “This is going to save lives.”
Campbell agrees. “This is just the beginning,” he adds. “Our goal is to teach high-performance CPR to all law enforcement officers within our district and those agencies that touch TVF&R’s borders.”