Local law enforcement receive AEDs through Helmsley Charitable Trust
The grant provides statewide law enforcement agencies and first responders with devices that aim to increase cardiac arrest survival rates
WADENA — The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and the Wadena Police Department are among agencies in the region to receive AED devices and training thanks to a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to the University of Minnesota Medical School.
The University of Minnesota Medical School used the $18.8 million in funds to provide law enforcement officers and first responders across Minnesota with more than 8,300 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to improve cardiac arrest survival rates. Wadena County Sheriff's Office will receive 14 and the Wadena Police Department is getting four.
The three-year project aims to equip every law enforcement vehicle in the state with an AED and train agencies to deliver immediate care prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Services (EMS). AEDs should be applied within the first three to five minutes of a cardiac arrest to ensure the best possible outcome.
“With the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s new grant to the U of M Medical School, thousands of AEDs will be deployed by first responders to serve and treat hundreds of victims of sudden death each year in all corners of urban, suburban and rural Minnesota,” said Demetri Yannopoulos, MD, the director of the Center for Resuscitation Medicine at the Medical School. “Defibrillators are one of the few known lifesaving technologies in cardiac arrest. We anticipate that hundreds of lives will be saved in the next few years by this effort. We are very grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their continuing trust and support in our center and state.”
Data from Minnesota Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) shows that 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidents happen in homes, where AEDs placed in public facilities can have little impact.
“Seconds count during a cardiac arrest,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee. “This funding will ensure those who get to the scene before EMS arrives give patients a better shot at survival.”
To date, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has granted more than $53.5 million across Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming for AEDs, funding nearly 22,000 devices for law enforcement and first responders. This collaboration is a part of a larger initiative to bring known lifesaving medical technology to underserved communities.
The AEDs analyze heart rhythms throughout CPR, reduce pauses and allow for improved blood circulation to increase the odds of survival. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, these self-monitoring devices can report their status to a centralized online data repository, allowing law enforcement agencies to know their devices are ready or in need of maintenance. The information collected will also allow the Center for Resuscitation Medicine to improve response to cardiac arrest and demonstrate how swift law enforcement response gives patients a better chance of survival.