Grant helps rural areas get lifesaving devicesDarold Peterson was fortunate that a police officer with an automated external defibrillator was nearby to shock his heart back to life when he went into sudden cardiac arrest and passed out at the downtown Fargo YMCA on Oct. 4, 2004.
By: Mike Nowatzki, INFORUM
Darold Peterson was fortunate that a police officer with an automated external defibrillator was nearby to shock his heart back to life when he went into sudden cardiac arrest and passed out at the downtown Fargo YMCA on Oct. 4, 2004.
“I’m living proof that AEDs do work,” the 71-year-old Moorhead resident said.
Now, the Dakota Medical Foundation and Fargo Cass Public Health are making more of the devices available in rural communities to give them quick access to the lifesaving devices, as well.
The foundation awarded an additional $43,456 for its AED initiative, bringing the total to $1.1 million since its launch in 2001.
Fargo Cass Public Health will use the grant to distribute 25 AEDs to communities with populations of 15,000 or less within a
75-mile radius of Fargo-Moorhead, said Holly Scott, AED program coordinator.
“We want to reach out to those more rural areas where they just don’t have access to EMS services the way that we do,” she said.
Fifteen devices will go to first responders such as fire and police departments and volunteer ambulance services. Nonprofits and public entities will receive the other 10 AEDs to be placed in public locations, but they must cover half of the device’s cost, or $827.50.
The grant application period opened Tuesday and ends Feb. 9.
The AED initiative has placed 482 defibrillators in Fargo-Moorhead and communities within roughly a 125-mile radius, DMF President Pat Traynor said. More than 1,500 people have been trained to use the devices, which also provide voice instructions for untrained users.
The National Institutes of Health estimates 250,000 to 450,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year in the Unites States.
For every minute a person in sudden cardiac arrest goes without an AED, the chance of survival decreases 10 percent, said Kelly Wanzek of Merigen Medical, an AED vendor and division of F-M Ambulance.
“Just a few minutes can have a huge outcome of will they live or will they not,” Wanzek said. “That’s why they’re so important. That’s why we want to have them everywhere.”
To apply for a grant, go to www.cityoffargo.com/health.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528