Reserve deputy organizes donation of defibrillators


Tom Harrison of the Hancock County Sheriff's Department inspects two donated defibrillators. Harrison said the equipment will fill an important response gap in case of medical emergencies. (Noelle M. Steele/Daily Reporter)

GREENFIELD — When Robert Huskisson learned his employer was about to discard $30,000 worth of medical equipment, the reserve police officer came up with a better idea.

Huskisson, a firefighter for Eli Lilly and Co., recently arranged for his bosses to donate 41 defibrillators to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, where Huskisson has volunteered as a reserve deputy for eight years.

The donation, which includes defibrillators, shock pads and replacement batteries, equips each of the sheriff’s department patrol vehicles with a life-saving device to be used in case of an emergency. Defibrillators can restart a stopped heart or restore a regular heartbeat that has fallen dangerously out of rhythm.

Lilly’s fire and rescue crew was in the process of upgrading when Huskisson approached his superiors about donating the equipment, the vast majority of which has been tested and maintained but never actually used.

Lilly’s upgrade was a preventive step, as the company that made the devices has been bought out and will no longer manufacture replacement parts, Huskisson explained.

Meanwhile, however, the devices are still operational.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to destroy something that could still be used by other organizations,” Huskisson said.

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