Local law enforcement agencies receive AEDs through the Helmsley Charitable Trust – Wadena Pioneer Journal

WADENA – The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office and the Wadena Police Department are among the agencies in the area receiving AED equipment 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 funding to equip law enforcement officers and first responders across Minnesota with more than 8,300 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to improve cardiac arrest survival rates. The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office gets 14 and the Wadena Police Department gets four.

The three-year project aims to equip every police vehicle in the state with an AED and train authorities to provide immediate care before EMS arrives. AEDs should be used within the first three to five minutes after cardiac arrest to ensure the best possible outcome.

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Local law enforcement received training in the use of AED machines at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center.

Contributed by Cetera Services

“With the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s new grant to U of M Medical School, thousands of AEDs are being used by first responders to care and treat hundreds of sudden death victims each year in every corner of urban, suburban and rural Minnesota,” said he Demetri Yannopoulos, MD, the director of the Center for Resuscitation Medicine at the School of Medicine. “Defibrillators are one of the few known life-saving technologies in cardiac arrest. We expect these efforts to save hundreds of lives over the next few years. We are very grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their continued trust and support in our center and state.”

Data from Minnesota’s Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) shows that 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home, where AEDs placed in public facilities can have little impact.

“Seconds count in cardiac arrest,” said Helmsley trustee Walter Panzirer. “This funding will ensure that those who are on the scene before emergency services arrive give patients a better chance of survival.”

To date, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has donated more than $53.5 million for AEDs in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming and funded nearly 22,000 devices for law enforcement and first responders. This collaboration is part of a larger initiative to bring well-known life-saving medical technology to underserved communities.

The AEDs analyze heart rhythms during CPR, reduce pauses, and allow for improved blood flow to increase the chances of survival. Through Wi-Fi connectivity, these self-monitoring devices can report their status to a centralized online data repository, so law enforcement agencies know their devices are ready or need attention. The information collected will also allow the Center for Resuscitation Medicine to improve cardiac arrest response and show how a quick law enforcement response can give patients a better chance of survival.