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Carmel-based Bolt for the Heart expands efforts to place AED’s in first responder vehicles

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — A central Indiana organization working to supply law enforcement with life-saving equipment is expanding. 

Bolt for the Heart raises money to place automatic external defibrillators, or AED’s, in law enforcement vehicles. AED’s are used to save someone in sudden cardiac arrest. 

Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten said his AED goes everywhere he does, because often police are first on scene while EMS is still on their way. 

“But that three, four, five minutes it takes them to respond that we are there can truly mean the difference between life and death,” Bursten said. 

Bursten’s AED was given to ISP by Bolt for the Heart, a Carmel-based organization. 

“We’re at ball games, we’re at church events, we’re at social clubs, we’re a lot of times the first ones on the scene in rural Indiana, so to have this life-saving device with us was needed out there and they picked it up and ran with the ball,” said Morgan County Sheriff Rich Myers. 

Bursten’s Cardiac Science AED is not unique. There is one in every single Indiana State Police vehicle, thanks to Bolt for the Heart. The organization raised the money for 465 AED’s in just four years through their Thanksgiving Day 5K. 

“It was kind of a lofty goal, but we thought, yeah we can do this. And what happened was people would come to the race and we got to the point where we’re doing a thousand runners, then 2,000 runners, then 3,000 runners and in addition to that corporate sponsorship really picked up in a big way too,” Pierre Twer, Bolt for the Heart board president, said. 

Twer is the pulse behind Bolt for the Heart. A runner himself, he witnessed a man experience sudden cardiac at the Boston Marathon and wanted to make sure future victims could be survivors too. And by equipping first responders, lives have already been saved by Bolt for Heart AED’s. 

“They’re welcoming of what we’re doing, so why not do it. And it’s kinda fun and when you get a save, it makes it all worthwhile,” Twer said. 

Now with Indiana State Police troopers taken care of, Twer and the Bolt board are now turning their attention to the sheriff’s offices and police departments throughout Indiana. 

“We’re looking at Hendricks, finishing Hamilton County, Morgan County, and Monroe County,” Twer said. 

There are 92 counties total in Indiana and Bolt wants to see each of them 100 percent equipped. The organization is also planning it’s first out-of-state run, in Michigan to begin supplying AED’s to Michigan State Police. 

“It’s probably not going to stop, with that man and that organization they’re always looking forward, they’re always improving,” Myer’s said. 

“They keep building upon good ideas and making good ideas, better ideas all for the purpose of putting these life-saving AED’s in law enforcement and first responder cars,” Burten said. 

Bolt for the Heart works closely with AED-maker Cardiac Science. Each AED costs $1,300 and 465 have been given to Indiana State Police. That’s more than $600,000. The organization has already supplied many to several other agencies and organizations as well. 

There are races already scheduled in Jefferson County, LaPorte County, and the annual race in Carmel on Thanksgiving. If you’d like more details on those or the Michigan race, click here