Yukon Police AED project earns boost

Yukon Rotary pays for one lifesaving device; YCPAAA raising funds for 9 more

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Yukon Rotary Club members present a large gift to cover the cost of an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Yukon Police Department: From left, Yukon Rotary President Bill Martin, Deputy Police Chief John Brown, Yukon Rotarian Angelique Morton, Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (YCPAAA) President Wes McAtee, YCPAAA member Genie Vinson, and Maj. Matt Fairchild. The YCPAAA wants to raise $18,187.50 to purchase 10 AEDs devices for police officers to use in medical emergencies. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A police citizens’ support group has earned a huge boost from a Yukon civic club in its effort to equip officers with lifesaving medical devices.

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The Yukon Rotary Club has stepped up to donate funds to the Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (YCPAAA) to cover the cost of one new automated external defibrillator (AED).

YCPAAA members hope to raise $18,187.50 to purchase 10 AEDs for the Yukon Police Department. Ten units will enable officers on each YPD shift to have working AEDs in their vehicles and one at the police station.

“The Rotary Club decided to fund the first one, and we’re working on three more next spring,” Yukon Rotary Club President Bill Martin said.

The YPD needs to update its AED inventory because police patrol officers are often first “on scene” of medical emergencies so they must start to render aid.

“I realize now the police department can get there a lot quicker than the fire department,” Martin said.

Once the fire department arrives, these AED units can be switched over so lifesaving aid is not interrupted.

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OFFICERS HAVE MEDICAL TRAINING

“Our officers have medical training,” YPD Maj. Matt Fairchild said. “Several officers are EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and one is a paramedic.

“You don’t have to be medically trained on an AED to use one, but those are the officers who will always be responding to those type of calls.”

One Yukon officer, Lt. Carl Tucker, has experience as a hospital emergency room nurse.

“Lt. Tucker wanted a career change to law enforcement, but he still pulls rotations at Mercy ER on his days off (from the YPD),” Deputy Police Chief John Brown noted. “He’s saved the life of three people in his career because of his knowledge.

“He’s pulled two people out of the pool at Gold’s Gym and brought them back to life.”

While on duty, every YPD officer carries Narcan to treat opioid overdoses. This nasal spray contains Naloxone, which blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication.

Tax-deductible donations for the AED project will directly benefit Yukon Police.

As a tax-exempt organization, the Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni raises funds to help supply the YPD with desired items that often are outside the regular budget.

Previously, the group has helped provide bicycles for the police bike patrol, drones and other equipment.

The YCPAAA also raises funds for the YPD by selling “We Support Law Enforcement” window stickers for Yukon homes and businesses. A $20 donation is suggested.

For more information, call YPCAAA President Wes McAtee at (405) 517-6229 or email yukonokcpaaa@gmail.com .

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