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Montana law enforcement seeing benefits of lifesaving defibrillators

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 10:46:01-04

COLUMBUS — Automatic external defibrillators or AEDs are life-saving devices. In April, Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Daylon Richard used one to save the life of a 50-year-old Park City man.

“I’ll definitely remember this for probably my entire career,” Richard said on Tuesday outside of the Stillwater County Courthouse.

Richard responded to a medical emergency call around 9 p.m. on April 10 and found the man’s wife waiting for help.

“Ran into her master bedroom, she was in the bathroom,” Richard said.

She was already administering CPR when Richard walked in.

“He was unconscious, and the AED announced that I needed to shock him, and so I had to a couple times,” said Richard.

The pulses shocked the man back to consciousness, and he’s made a full recovery since.

Stillwater County Sheriff's Deputy Daylon Richard

“If I wasn’t there and did the actions I did as soon as I did, he wouldn’t have been alive,” Richard said.

If this had happened a few years ago, the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t have been able to use the 16 AEDs they have today.

“It basically just comes off from a grant from a tragedy. They pushed it out throughout the state of Montana, wanting to get AEDs out to people who can get there quick, fast, and in a hurry,” said Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Cactus Anderson, the head of the department’s AED program.

In 2019, The Helmsley Charitable Trust provided 2,200 devices to law enforcement and first responders across Montana.


“That to me is what’s highly impressive, is the fact that this grant is able to push it out to all these rural areas where it’s highly needed,” Anderson said.

“Every minute that goes by, the more damage is being done to the body that’s irreparable. So, it’s truly a matter of quick response in that stuff,” said Columbus Fire Rescue Chief Rich Cowger.

Richard was awarded for his lifesaving efforts from the sheriff’s office, and it’s something he’ll never forget.

“We deal with a lot of pain and suffering in this job sometimes. And just knowing I could do something that helps his family. That he can live another day to see his daughter and his wife,” Richard said.