The Port Washington Police Department adopted three resolutions on May 21. These will disburse monies from the federal drug asset forfeiture account into the districts crime prevention fund. The monies will be used to purchase 16 Survivalink 9100-2 automatic external defibrillators for $44,214; enter into an experimental bicycle patrol program to supplement the patrol effort at a cost of $57,500 for the period from May 15 to Oct. 31; and purchase equipment to upgrade and improve the existing mobile/cellular telephone system, and related equipment necessary for $2,159. All of these uses adhere to strict federal guidelines, according to the PWPD's accountant William Abrahms.
Commenting on the value to the community of the new 16 automatic external defibrillators, PWPD Officer Tony Guzzello, quoting from a brochure from Survivalink reported, "The American Heart Association has identified early defibrillation as the key link in the chain of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Defibrillation within the first minute can save the lives of up to 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims. Less than 5 percent survive after waiting ten minutes." Officer Guzzello then pointed out, "This should increase the survival rate on police emergency calls by 30-70 percent, because we respond to calls within one to three minutes."
The PWPD will keep 11 of the defibrillators, which will equip the majority of its vehicles. The other five will be given to the fire department; three of these will be used in the three chiefs' vehicles, and one each will be given for use in the Fire Marshal and the Fire Medics First Response vehicle.
PWPD's medical director Dr. Allan Katz noted that the PWPD is the first police agency in Nassau County to have the majority of its vehicles equipped with AEDs and have its officers trained as certified first responders in the use of these AEDs. Additionally, Captain Phil Poullada of the Port Washington Fire Departments Fire Medics pointed out that 37 of his members are also certified AED operators. This brings the total number of individuals in the town to over 50.
Police Commissioner Duncan thanked Police Commissioner Smitheimer for coordinating the district's effort in putting the program together. Police Commissioner Smitheimer then thanked Officer Guzzello for doing important research on the AEDs and Dr. Katz for his professional assistance. Also thanked were the three chiefs of the PWFD, as well as the line officers of the Fire Medics for their encouragement and continued support.