The Roanoke Rapids Police Department received defibrillators and disposable bag valve masks from the Vidant Community Health Needs Assessment.
It was one of 12 organizations in the community to receive needed equipment, Vidant said last month.
The bag valve masks can be used in cases of overdoses and CPR if a patient has a cardiac issue, Lieutenant Mike Moseley said Thursday.
“As we’ve been going to more OD calls over the years we found that giving Narcan wasn’t as effective until we moved it around (the patient’s respiratory system).”
EMS has oxygen in conjunction with Narcan and it has been more effective in reviving patients who have overdosed, Moseley said.
The police department, which just recently received 100 of the bags, has not used them yet. Each officer will carry a bag with them as they patrol.
There will be two cars on shift where officers carry the defibrillators, Moseley said.
All the officers are trained in CPR and other first aid methods during their basic law enforcement training and many times are the first on the scene.
The defibrillators are easy to use, detect if the device needs to be used on a patient and shows exactly where the pads need to be placed on the chest through a series of spoken commands from the machine.
Like the bag valve masks, the department has not yet deployed the defibrillators.
The department applied for the equipment, which has a total value of $9,100, during Vidant’s round of funding for the Community Health Needs Assessment and was a greatly appreciated grant award for the department in a time of tight budgets. “It’s huge,” Moseley said. “It’s great to get it and not have to spend the money. It will be beneficial to the entire community.”