The Warrensburg Police Department has been working since last summer to raise funds to replace their aging fleet of automated external defibrillator (AED) kits.
The kits, used by first responders to start a person’s heart by shocking it with an electrical current, were quickly approaching the end of their lives at 15 years old. With fundraisers and community support, however, the Police Department has raised enough money to purchase 14 kits.
Chief Rich Lockhart said they raised nearly $17,000 in the fundraising campaign. The amount is enough to replace all 12 of the kits in police cars as well as install two inside the station and one inside the animal control vehicle.
Lockhart said the kits are currently being activated. He said he hopes all kits will be deployed by the end of February.
The new kits were purchased through the American Red Cross in Kansas City, Missouri, and require no extra training. Lockhart said the kits are very easy to use.
“They don’t require any additional training other than what the officers already have,” Lockhart said. “They’re very similar to what we had before. And they’re very user-friendly. When you open them up there is very explicit written and picture directions on the AED machines themselves.”
The Warrensburg Noon Rotary Club donated proceeds of its annual pork butt sale to the Police Department to help fund the purchase of replacement AED kits. The proceeds of the October event totaled just over $6,100.
Steve Fox, president of the Warrensburg Noon Rotary Club, said the pork butt sale is one of two annual fundraisers held by the club.
Lockhart said other large donations were made by Western Missouri Medical Center, Action Realty and Jaeger Tire.
Lockhart said the Police Department is planning a “Coffee with Cops” event to introduce the AED kits and allow the donors to see the new kits. He said that each kit will feature a patch inscribed with donor’s names.