Story County Sheriff’s Department adds AED to arsenal


NEVADA – Joel Navratil has been with the Story County Sheriff’s Department for a dozen years.

“Every day’s different and you never know quite what you’re going to run into and it’s 500 square mile, so there’s always something going on somewhere,” he said.

He’s the first person in his department to have an AED traveling with him in his car every day. 

“It’s very easy to use,” he said. “It’s in a backpack I have in my trunk that’s easy enough to grab as I walk into a house or walk up to a scene.”

It’s an automated external defibrillator, and Story County is working to bring these into each of their patrol cars. They got their first one through a grant from the Arrhythmia Alliance. 

“We don’t know where the next emergency’s going to take place,” explained Capt. Barry Thomas of the Story County Sheriff’s Department. “We don’t know when the need is going to arise, whether it’s going to be a rural or at a traffic accident. We don’t know when it’s going to be.”

Sometimes deputies are the first at an accident, and those moments can be the difference between life and death. 

“We don’t have those occurrences a lot but the times that we have them, it’s critical to have the proper equipment and so that’s part of the reason for that campaign is so that the next time we need one, we’ve got it,” said Thomas. 

With such large coverage area to patrol, and nine towns they regularly monitor, Navratil knows his efforts are vital. 

“Help them out for the worst day of their life,” said Navratil. “I hope I don’t have to use it, but the chances are I will have to use it at some point in time.”

If and when that need arises, he’ll be ready. 

“Every day I go to work and I want to try to save someone’s life, fight some crime and just keep people safe,” said Navratil. 

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