MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WSET) -- When somebody gets shot, every second counts.
For Montgomery County deputies, the Sheriff Hank Partin says that's where their new automatic injury detection system comes in.
Partin explained, "The automatic injury detection system works through a trace on a piece of plastic, like an ink. If it's penetrated, it automatically generates a blue tooth signal." He added, "Along with that is a hyperlink, Google Earth which points exactly where that deputy is."
The department tried them out to see how fast the alert comes. They put the plastic device on a dummy and fired at the dummy. Before the dummy even hit the ground, the alerts had gone out via text and walkie talkie alerts.
That test happened at the Montgomery County shooting range, which is a place with spotty cell service, but the alert still went out.
The thin plastic sheets slide into bullet proof vests. They won't help keep deputies from being shot or stabbed, but Partin explained, they do help keep deputies alive. "The rescue squad is already going to have all the deputy's personal information when they're pulling out of the crewhall. They're already contacting the emergency room. The hospital will already have tons of time-saving, life-saving information," said Partin.
His deputies agree.
Lt. Mark Hollandsworth said, "I think it's a sense of security, knowing if I were to be shot or stabbed that the instantaneous alert provides that much faster a response."
The device does hold personal information, but Partin says it's not accessible. He promised, "There is no tracking capability to this unless there's an event and a deputy has been injured."
This security sounds expensive, but Partin was able to get the vests and new Bluetooth walkie talkies for just $350 a deputy.
Montgomery County is the first in the whole world to get these new plastic sheets. Partin says already people in other states are looking into how they can get them.