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Bridgeport Police Department Receives $5,200 for Automatic External Defibrillators

Dr. Jared Estock, right, sits by as Bridgeport Police Officer Bobby Shrieve practices administering CPR during a training course on Sunday. A $5,200 donation from the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley helped the Bridgeport Police Department purchase automatic external defibrillators. (Photo by Carri Graham)

All four of the Bridgeport Police Department’s cruisers are now equipped with automatic external defibrillators thanks to a $5,200 donation from the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.

A check presentation was held Sunday, although the funds were already donated and used to purchase the equipment earlier this month. Debbie Stanton, program officer at the CFOV, presented the department with the check. The foundation works with donors to create grants for organizations that help to improve the quality of life of those in the Ohio Valley.

Last year, the foundation assisted in distributing more than $3.1 million in grants and scholarships.

Stanton said the donation funds for the police department came from an anonymous donor and the Belmont County Enrichment Fund.

“It’s (Belmont County Enrichment Fund) a group of donors in Belmont County that like to give back to the community,” she said. “They came together after the gas and oil industry came to town and put their resources and money together to give back to the county in areas that benefit the community. They do grants frequently, and this is one of them.”

Thanks to the “generous” donation, the police department was able to purchase the AEDs at cost, $1,300 a piece, from Trudo-Albert Fire Equipment who also conducted a free training seminar for the department’s officers. The AEDs are portable devices that can analyze a heart’s rhythm and deliver an electrical shock if needed to help the heart re-establish its rhythm.

Glenn Trudo, president of TAFE, is known throughout the Ohio Valley for his support in placing AEDs in the community where they are needed, according to the police department.

Following the check presentation, 12 officers received training on how to use the AEDs, perform child and adult CPR and how to administer the drug Narcan – a nasal spray that can reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose.

Police Chief John Bumba said the AEDs and training will help the department better serve the community.

“The very premise of being a small town police officer is to serve the community. Equipping cruisers with AEDs coupled with trained officers is just another way the Bridgeport Police Department will be able to serve the community,” Bumba said.

Lt. Darby Copeland said having the AEDs in officers’ cruisers will help save lives.

In December, Bumba and Copeland responded to a call in which a woman was in cardiac arrest. The officers were able to resuscitate the woman prior to the arrival of local EMS personnel. Unfortunately, the woman recently passed away due to an unrelated chronic health condition. Copeland said the woman’s family was thankful that they were able to spend precious time with her that they otherwise may not have had if not for the officers’ quick response.

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