Council donates AEDs to local restaurants

By Lorrie Ham

The Spring Park City Council approved agreements May 1 that will allow the city to donate automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to a pair of local restaurants. With the assistance of a $2,142 matching grant from CenterPoint Energy for community safety initiatives, the city recently purchased three of the units.

The city intends to install one of the AEDs in Thor Thompson Park. Looking for other places where large numbers of people gather, the city chose Lord Fletcher’s Restaurant and the Minnetonka Drive-In, due in part to its proximity to the Dakota Trail, as appropriate locations for the other two units.

“Placing the AEDs in these locations will put these medical devices at the places in the city where the greatest number of people congregate and therefore, in locations most likely to be of use in protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the public,” City Attorney Nancy Beck said.

Following Beck’s recommendation, the council approved agreements with both restaurants to ensure that they agree to use and maintain the AEDs and to operate them at their own risk for community benefit in return for the city supplying them with the devices.

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses a life-threatening cardiac arrest in a patient, and is able to treat it through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. One unit is already located at city hall.

The grant supports Spring Park’s commitment to being a HEARTSafe Community, a program designed to promote survival from sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, as explained by Orono Police Department Deputy Chief Chris Fischer, at a previous council meeting.

It is a general concept focused upon strengthening the “chain of survival,” as described by the American Heart Association; it recognizes and stimulates efforts by individual communities to improve their system for preventing sudden cardiac arrest from becoming irreversible death.

Time is critical and getting help immediately versus waiting for first responders could be the difference between life and death for victims, Fischer added.

In another matter, the council discussed the city-wide pick-up, along with the fact that some property owners in the city are already leaving debris on their curbs.

City Administrator Dan Tolsma said the city works with property owners to educate them on the pick-up date and ask that items not be set out more than 10 days prior to that.  Tolsma noted that absorbent furniture needs to be covered to prevent it from getting wet prior to the pick-up as well.

Mayor Jerry Rockvam said that the pick-up criteria is very specific, adding that some of the things sitting out did not seem to meet that criteria. Tolsma said there was a fair amount of “scrapping” that occurs prior to the city collection, but that the hauler is instructed to leave anything that’s not eligible. Property owners are notified to clean up any items that are left behind, he added.