Story County’s Lifesaving Endeavor

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NEVADA, Iowa– Defibrillators are used to shock the heart back to normal rhythm. They designed to be easy to use, but aren’t always easily accessible. Story County has launched a new campaign to change that.

Like many deputies in rural areas, they often find themselves the first responders to an emergency. They will soon have a lifesaving tool with them on every call.

“We had a situation where a deputy was one minute away from a medical call, showed up on scene, did CPR for 5 minutes, but did not have an AED available to him. That individual ended up not living. We’ll never know whether or not the AED would have made a different, but most likely it would have,” said Captain Barry Thomas.

The Sheriff`s Office wants to equip every vehicle and county building with AED’s or automated external defibrillators. That adds up to 45 heart shocking devices.

“I’ll call it cop proof,” said Deputy Aaron Kester who trains the department on the devices.

When you turn it on, a voice prompts your next move. The machine tells the user to apply the pads to a patient’s bare chest, then plug into the device.

“This will only shock on certain heart rhythms so you can’t accidentally shock somebody that doesn’t need defibrillation,” explained Kester.

The Sheriff`s Office teamed up the Arrhythmia Alliance to raise the money needed to buy the defibrillators. Together, their goal is to make Story County a heart safe place to live.

“Hopefully we’ll never need these things, but if we do, we’ll have them available to us,” said Thomas.

Defibrillators can cost up to $2,000. Right now, the county has devices in the Sheriff’s Office and the jail.

For more information about the Defibs Saves Lives campaign, contact the Arrhythmia Alliance at You can also contact Samantha Horstman at or call 843-415-1886.

Donations can also be sent to:
Story County Sheriff’s Office
1315 S B Ave.
Nevada, IA 50201

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