Bemidji law enforcement set to receive 30 AEDs

The Bemidji Police Department is set to receive 30 of some 8,300 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) made possible through a grant.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helsmley Charitable Trust awarded $18.8 million to the University of Minnesota Medical School to make these devices available to law enforcement officers and first responders across the state.

“Seconds count during a cardiac arrest,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee.

“We know in Minnesota, first responders often have great distances to cover. This funding will ensure those who get to the scene before EMS arrives give patients a better shot at survival.”

Data from Minnesota CARES shows that 70 percent of cardiac arrest events out-of-hospital happen in homes. The American Heart Association’s studies demonstrate a dramatically higher survival rate for cardiac patients “shocked” by law enforcement, who are generally first on the scene, especially in rural areas.

The 30 new devices were placed into service in all Bemidji Police Department vehicles and are available for use at all times.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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