TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — ISU police officers recently saved a car accident victim using a life-saving device.

The wreck happened last month at the intersection of 3rd and Cherry Streets in Terre Haute.

A driver had a medical issue behind the wheel and crashed. Thanks to quick thinking, and access to an AED, the driver survived the ordeal.

The incident comes as state lawmakers consider a bill requiring schools to have AEDs on-hand at all events.

“We noticed the driver of the vehicle was agonal breathing,” ISU Police Corporal Austin Wolfe explained.  “We decided, at that point, we needed to start CPR.”

Wolfe responded that day along with fellow officers Charles Siebenmorgen and Skyler Vogleman.

“They placed the pads on him, and I continued CPR,” Wolfe said.  “The AED will actually check for a heart rhythm, and it advised that it was going to administer a shock.  Once medics arrived, they took over and continued CPR and got him to the hospital.”

Dr. Scott Stine is with Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes.  He says every second counts when dealing with a cardiac emergency.

“Some of those heart rhythms, the earlier you can intervene and deliver that shock, the more successful that resuscitation will be,” Stine said.

The bill regarding AEDs would require all K-12 schools to have portable AEDs on hand for all extracurricular events, including sports. 

The bill would also require schools to develop an emergency plan for sudden cardiac arrests and post that plan in school and athletic spaces.

“Anytime there is an arrest, whether that is an arrest here in hospital, whether there’s an arrest at a community event or sporting event, that early intervention is really important,” Stine said. “AEDs are a key portion of that initial evaluation of those events.  Having individuals that are trained in CPR are helpful, but also having the right equipment available is super important.”

“Oh, it makes a big difference,” Cpl. Wolfe said. “I’ve seen the defibrillator save multiple people in cardiac arrest.”

According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year.

There are about 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace each year in the United States, according to a report from the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

A recent survey found only 50% of people can locate an automated external defibrillator (AED) at work.

Senate Bill 369 passed the state Senate last month.  It cleared the House this week with two amendments.  One requires all coaches to be trained in CPR and AEDs.  The other would not require AEDs on school field trips.  The bill now goes back to the senate for consideration.