Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rotary launches campaign to buy heart defibrillators for police cars

Rotary Club of Tampa president Wayne Critcher presents a portable defibrillator to Tampa police Chief Jane Castor this week. Looking on is Rotarian Bill Gillen.

Rotary Club of Tampa

Rotary Club of Tampa president Wayne Critcher presents a portable defibrillator to Tampa police Chief Jane Castor this week. Looking on is Rotarian Bill Gillen.

TAMPA — Tampa police will be able to take on the role of life-saving paramedics under a plan to supply 100 police cars with portable heart defibrillators this year.

Rotary Club of Tampa members this week donated the first of the machines to Tampa police Chief Jane Castor, who placed it in the trunk of a patrol car for the benefit of media cameras.

"Here we go,'' she said. "One car's ready.''

Though she joked that "hopefully this will not be used on me,'' Castor expressed her gratitude to the club for launching a fundraising campaign to supply the machines to police, who often are the first responders to 911 calls. "We are quite certain that these will save a lot of lives in the city.''

In recognition of the Tampa club's 100th anniversary this month, president Wayne Critcher announced the $100,000 fundraising campaign to buy the 100 machines in light of the fact that Tampa public safety crews responded to 288 cardiac arrest calls in 2013 and 303 in 2012.

Critcher said the club will match all donations up to $40,000, enough to buy 40 of the $1,000 machines, and will ask corporations, foundations and individuals to help reach the $100,000 goal.

Rotarian Bill Gillen, who headed the effort called Rotary Project Lifesaver, said the easy-to-use machines will be vital when police show up before paramedics arrive.

"It's great if they can start the process and then turn it over to EMS once they arrive,'' Gillen said.

He said once potential donors learn about the project, they'll embrace it, "and we hope to be able to buy many more. I think there are almost 800 police cars.''

Castor said the department has few defibrillators now because they cost so much. "And we usually find that they're not where we need them at the time.''

Castor said the machines will be distributed to the department's three districts so that they can be quickly available for emergencies anywhere in the city.

Philip Morgan can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3435.

Rotary launches campaign to buy heart defibrillators for police cars 04/16/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  2. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  3. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'


    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  4. Police plan community meeting as search for Seminole Heights killer continues


    TAMPA — With people in Seminole Heights on edge following three related shooting deaths on their streets, police have planned a community meeting for Monday.

    The three Seminole Heights victims, from left: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20. [Facebook, family photos]
  5. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.