Indiana State Police partner with nonprofit to save heart attack victims' lives

Posted at 7:01 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 19:01:08-05

When Indiana State Police respond to heart attack calls, minutes matter -- but only if lifesaving equipment is within reach.

"Statistics show there could be 40,000 people who could be saved if automated external defibrillators are administered within the first five minutes," Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said. 

That's why ISP troopers such as Wheeles want to make sure every one of their vehicles is equipped with a portable defibrillator, but AEDs come at a cost: about $12,000 each. 

ISP hopes it can raise money by partnering with Bolt for the Heart, a nonprofit that provides AEDs to public organizations in central Indiana. Bolt's chief source of fundraising is an annual Thanksgiving morning 5K run in Carmel, Indiana, but this year, those who want to support heart health can run from anywhere in the world.

"They can do it at their own place and the time of their choosing," Wheeles said.

To participate in the virtual race, runners can pay a $20 fee to register online, then complete a 5K run and submit their results on Bolt for the Heart's website.

Wheeles said he anticipates Bolt for the Heart proceeds could help ISP purchase 250 new AEDs.

"We can get to those scenes first and have the potential to save lives," he said.