St. Charles PD gifted AEDs from grant through U of M Medical School

(ABC 6 News) – The St. Charles Police Department was gifted new Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) from a Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust grant through the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The $18.8 million grant aims to provide state law enforcement agencies and first responders across Minnesota with more than 8,300 AEDs to improve cardiac arrest survival rates.

An AED is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Data from Minnesota Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) shows that 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidents happen in homes, where AEDs placed in public facilities can have little impact. 

The distribution of the AEDs and training to use the devices began over the summer. Agencies such as Metro Transit and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who typically do not have AEDs, will receive them for the first time.

“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.”

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.

To learn more about the Helmsley Charitable Trust, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about the U of M Medical School, CLICK HERE.