By Jennifer Gallus
“We’re trying to ensure every school campus in the district has access to a defib,” said Howard Lake Police Chief Dan Lang of the recent acquisition of three new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
The police department secured a grant for the purchase, then began working with the Heart Safe Communities program at Buffalo Hospital and Allina Medical Transportation to obtain the devices.
A big goal of Heart Safe Communities is to place an AED in every emergency vehicle in Wright County, and since January 2007, the program has had 11 “saves,” according to Heart Safe Communities Coordinator Kelly Lewis.
Through the program, an existing AED that the police department had was upgraded and placed back in the Howard Lake day squad.
One of the new AEDs the police department acquired was placed in the night squad, and the other two new AEDs were given to the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District.
With the donation from the police department, AEDs will now be in place in the high school, Winsted Elementary, and Holy Trinity.
“We are so thankful that Heart Safe Communities is doing this program,” HLWW School District Nurse Jolie Holland said. “And that Kelly is leading it. She’s done a really good job.”
“Chief Lang has been such a great support for the schools not only for safety issues, but for their health with these defibrillators,” Holland added.
Lewis will train the officers and the school staff about how to use the defibrillators. She will also conduct regular check-ups for the equipment, and if put to use, will download the information that is automatically stored on the unit as to the status of the victim at the time of the incident.
More than 160 AEDs have been placed in Wright County, and a database is in place that details where each device is located so that during a 911 call, the closest unit can be disclosed.