ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) – A local police department received a gift this week from a guardian angel — or in this case, the Guardian Knights.
The biker’s club made up mostly of police and correctional officers donated an automated external defibrillator to the East Pennsboro Police Department after learning the department did not have one.
Police departments in Pennsylvania aren’t required to have AEDs, the devices that can save people from a heart attack. That left the Guardian Knights feeling unsettled.
Atah Akakpo-Martin is the president and founder of Guardian Knights.
“It gives you a sense of freedom out on the open road with friends,” he said.
As a Harrisburg City police officer, he needs that relief.
“Letting a lot of stress go,” Akakpo-Martin said, sitting atop his bike.
But he says the group is united by more than just riding.
“Giving back to the community,” he said. “The club is based on giving back to first responders, military.”
This week, they stood by their word.
“One of our members brought it up at a meeting that the township of East Pennsboro was in need of an AED,” Akakpo-Martin said.
“They stepped up to write a check within a day,” East Pennsboro police Chief Todd Bashore said.
The $2,500 defibrillator was paid for through the bike club’s charity rides and fundraisers.
“There’s many situations where we would arrive at the scene of a cardiac event before the ambulances, that we could have used the AED before they arrive,” Bashore said.
East Pennsboro police respond to cardiac events about once a week.
“The officers have been trained to use the AED for the past few years, but we didn’t have one to use,” Bashore said.
Pennsylvania law doesn’t require AEDs in any buildings except fitness centers. Now, there will be one on the road during every East Pennsboro police shift, riding alongside their guardian angels of the Guardian Knights.
The Guardian Knights are hosting another fundraiser on Saturday, July 15.