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Representatives from Care Flight, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s health department gather as Care Flight personnel present four automated external defibrillators to the Sheriff’s Office. From left, Dean Dow, president and CEO of REMSA; Dr. Jeff Kepple, CEO of Plumas District Hospital; Ron Walter, executive director of Care Flight; Lori Pini, public health department; Sam Blesse, paramedic; Matt Brown, Care Flight operations manager; Sheriff Greg Hagwood; and sheriff’s department personnel Todd Johns, Nick Dawson and Carson Wingfield. Photos by Debra Moore

Care Flight donates life-saving equipment to Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. Todd Johns, left, and Matt Brown of Care Flight, inspect one of the four new automatic external defibrillators presented to the Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 27. Care Flight will provide training on how to use the devices as well as maintain them.

Hear the words “Care Flight” and one instantly imagines a hovering helicopter, but in Plumas County “Care Flight” means much more.

In addition to air service, Care Flight now provides ground ambulance transportation for the Quincy area, a quick response vehicle, a 24/7 nurse hotline, and is participating in other health initiatives including the Heart Safe Community program.

The latter brought Care Flight and Sheriff’s Office personnel together Dec. 27 when Care Flight presented four automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the Sheriff to be carried in patrol vehicles.

“It’s all part of the Heart Safe Community,” said Matt Brown, Care Flight operations manager, who added that Care Flight personnel would be training deputies on how to use the devices.

A deputy is often first on the scene of an incident where the immediate use of such equipment could mean survival for the victim.

When asked if it would be better for a deputy to wait for the paramedics to arrive, Brown said that “even if they see us coming, they should begin lifesaving treatment.”

The automatic defibrillator walks the person using the device through the steps with audible commands.

How often would a deputy need to use the defibrillator?

“This could be used several times a year or more, ” said Sgt. Todd Johns. The department already has four defibrillators, so the new devices bring the total to eight. A defibrillator costs about $1,400.

In addition to instruction, Care Flight will maintain the devices, which require 90-day inspections.

“As long as the devices are maintained there is zero liability,” said Brown.

As part of the Heart Safe Community program, Care Flight personnel, working in conjunction with Plumas District Hospital, are offering free CPR classes. In the past few months, more than 100 local residents have received the training.

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