PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Coming soon to Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputy patrol cars, new automatic external defibrillators.

On Thursday morning, Allegheny County Sheriff Bill Mullen thanked UPMC for the donation to cover the cost of 20 new AEDs.

Mullen recalled the time 12 years ago, when his heart stopped after a game of basketball.

“I was done playing and I just dropped,” said Mullen. “I passed out. There were two police officers there who kept me alive with until the first responders responded.”

Mullen says he was brought back to life thanks to an AED.

WATCH: Sheriff’s Office News Conference —

 

UPMC donated nearly $22,000 to the Sheriff’s Office for the devices. Fourteen will go in patrol cars, and six more will be in go-bags.

“Many times they are the first responders,” Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus said. “They’ll hear a call, they’ll back up a municipality, and if there’s a cardiac arrest, they’ll be equipped to act immediately.”

“We’ve had AEDs for eight to 10 years, and just recently they donated all brand new state-of-the-art AEDs, which we think we’ll be very beneficial for our operations,” Mullen said.

UPMC emergency physician and Pittsburgh EMS assistant medical director, Dr. Leonard Weiss, demonstrated how the devices work, at the news conference. He noted that no formal training in needed. The devices should be used along with CPR.

“It tells you where to put the pads. If I didn’t know what to do, it would just keep speaking to me, ” Dr. Weiss told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Steve Willing)

Dr. Weiss said if there were more AEDs available during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, it could lead to more lives being saved.

“If we can get enough people to perform these live-saving skills early enough, that will make a difference and really improve the chances of survival,” he said.

Lisa Washington