MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – Marquette County groups are joining forces to raise funds for cardiac emergency equipment for law enforcement.
It’s a joint effort by the Marquette County Law Enforcement Administrators Association and the Community Foundation of Marquette County. They’re calling the initiative Jumpstart A Heart. The goal is to raise $81,454.50 to purchase 38 new AEDs (automated external defibrillators) for Forsyth Township Police, Negaunee Police, Chocolay Township Police, Marquette City Police, Marquette County Sheriff’s Office Patrol, Michigan State Police Negaunee Post, Rescue 131, and Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET).
“Last year, just in Marquette County alone, AEDs were utilized 42 times,” said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “I’ve been a police officer in Marquette County for about 41 years, and in the period of time that I was actually working the road, I probably used them 15 to 20 times throughout the career and had some saves. So even if it saves one life, it’s worth it.”
Some of the current equipment is over 15 years old, which means they are no longer reliable and not compatible with equipment used by EMS teams. Having updated equipment and training will allow for a smooth connection and switch over from the AED unit to advanced lifesaving equipment on the scene. Every officer utilizing the AED will have the training to operate the equipment along with corresponding CPR and First Aid skills.
“So these new units are going to be available to everyone anywhere in the county because Michigan State Police and the sheriff’s department will have new units as well so we can get to the most remote camp,” said Marquette County Sheriff Deputy Jenn Best. “There will also be some in Marquette City so if you’re here in the city and you have a cardiac event or a loved one has a cardiac event, we’ll just be able to assist anyone, everywhere.”
The updated equipment will include updated and fully compatible infant/juvenile pads. The new equipment will also include two trainer AED units. The trainer units allow for instruction and practice to be offered locally, keeping costs down and allowing all officers to attend.
MCLEAA is asking for donations from the community to purchase the equipment to have on patrol by the end of September. MCLEAA partnered with the Community Foundation of Marquette County as the fiscal agent for this project, which means all donations to the project are tax-deductible. The West End Health Foundation and Marquette Area Community Fund have committed funds to the project.
Anyone who would like to contribute to the project can send a check to Community Foundation of Marquette County, PO Box 37, Marquette, MI 49855 or donate to its GoFundMe page.
For more information, visit www.cfofmc.org.