By Jennifer Kotila
COKATO, MN Cokato City Council approved Cokato Ambulance’s request last Monday to purchase 10 automated external defibrillator devices to place throughout the community.
“There are a lot of other organizations putting defibrillators out, and we thought we might like to do the same thing,” said City Council Member Carl Harju, who is also a member of Cokato Ambulance.
Along with placing the devices in public areas such as city hall, Cokato Public Library, and Cokato Museum, Cokato Ambulance decided placing them in area churches would be a good idea, Harju explained.
When contacting area churches, it was found there were several that already had AEDs, including Elim Mission Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, First Baptist Church, and St. John’s Education Center.
Area churches that do not have AEDs, and agreed to have one placed in the church by Cokato Ambulance, include:
• Crossroads Community Church
• Good Shepherd Evangelical Free Lutheran Church
• Grace Lutheran Church
• Laestadian Lutheran Church
• New Life Assembly of God
• North Crow River Lutheran Church
• Stockholm Lutheran Church
The total cost to the city for the AEDs will be $17,017, which will come out of the Cokato Ambulance fund.
The city will be receiving door-alarmed mounted wall cabinets at each location to store the AEDs free of charge from Advanced First Aid, the supplier of the devices.
Although the devices are fully automatic and require little or no training to operate, Cokato Ambulance will provide initial CPR and defibrillator certification for 10 to 20 people at each church in which an AED is placed.
Cokato Ambulance will maintain ownership of the AEDs, and will be responsible for all maintenance throughout the lifetime of the devices.