Bernalillo County firefighters team up with deputies for life-saving AED training

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The lights and the cameras are in place for a potentially life-saving video lesson from county firefighters and sheriff’s deputies.

“Every single minute that someone is not getting CPR done, they are 10% less likely to survive that event,” said Gabe Debaltz, BCFD EMS education coordinator. 

County firefighters and paramedics know the drill. But, it’s still something new for county deputies equipped with more than 200 automated external defibrillators – or AEDs.

“We are building more and more training programs so that we can create these life-saving techniques when the deputies are on scene first,” said DeBaltz. 

They’re not just using dummies and compression exercises to teach, they’re also pointing to a lapel camera video of deputies helping a woman suffering from a cardiac arrest at a recent Albuquerque concert.

BCSO Deputy Cameron Carroll was one of the ones who helped.

“We got the AED and per our training, we got the pads on, and the machine did its thing,” said Carroll. “It shocked her twice over the course of our time together, and at that point, we were able to recover a heartbeat and get some breathing back.”

With proof the AED training works, Bernalillo County first responders are spreading the word with a new instructional video, hoping to save more lives in the future.

“You’ll hear a lot of law enforcement saying ‘That’s not my job.’ In reality, the sheriff’s department stepping up and saying ‘I want that to be part of my job,’ was one of the biggest changes that we could have,” said Debaltz.