Maple Grove has joined the ranks of other surrounding cities in the Twin Cities area like Osseo, in becoming a Heart Safe Community. The city officially became a Heart Safe Community during a presentation at the Jan. 6 city council meeting.
The American Heart Association recognizes communities that work toward improving survivability following a sudden cardiac arrest through their Heart Safe Community designation.
Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson said, “The Heart Safe Community recognition means that as a city, we take the potential of sudden cardiac arrest seriously and have taken steps to improve the odds of survival as measured by the American Heart Association.”
Paul Mendoza, North Memorial Paramedic and a representative of the American Heart Association, is the coordinator for the program North Memorial Heart Safe Communities. “Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer in the United States, but it’s not in Minnesota,” he said. “When bystander CPR is immediately started and an AED (automated external defibrillator) is connected to a sudden cardiac arrest victim within the first two minutes, the survival rate is 85 to 90 percent.”
For the Maple Grove to achieve a Heart Safe Community designation, the city needed to reach 750 points through an evaluation of early access to emergency care including early CPR, early defibrillation, early advanced pre-hospital care by emergency responders, and post cardiac arrest care in a local hospital.
Maple Grove has 69 AEDs available for public access and there are over 1,500 people trained including 220 city staffers to use them. Anderson said there are AEDs in each police patrol vehicle, two in vehicles at each city fire station, in fire supervisor vehicles, in all major city buildings, in each school and in businesses throughout the community. He added, “We are surveying businesses for availability of AEDs each year when we visit the facility for its annual fire inspection.”
There is also on-going training available through the Osseo School District.
Fire Chief Anderson said the city first began the steps to become a Heart Safe Community in the summer of 2013. Mendoza added he met with the fire department and also made contact with the Maple Grove Lions Club.
Anderson said, “Due to all the programs that we already have in place, this was more of a process to gather information and statistics than to initiate any new programs. Many people in the city cooperated in the process including city of Maple Grove staff, Osseo School District staff and representatives from area businesses.”
“In all, Chief Anderson has compiled more than 1,600 points earning Heart Safe designation for the city of Maple Grove,” Mendoza said.
Much of this is due to the efforts of businesses in the community and the schools by providing basic CPR training to employees and students, and having ready access to automatic defibrillators.
Chief Anderson said, “We found that there are many automatic defibrillators throughout the city, and that CPR training programs have been conducted at each of the businesses that have the AED’s, as well as through various training programs in the schools and the communities.”
Mendoza said the city has become the state’s 26th official designated Heart Safe Community. Maple Grove becomes North Memorial’s fourth Heart Safe Community. The first community was Osseo, followed by Minnetonka and Plymouth (along with Allina). “Our next community is Maple Plain and possibly Brooklyn Center in the near future,” he added.
In the future, the city “will continue to promote CPR training and having businesses and places where large numbers of people gather provide an automatic defibrillator,” Chief Anderson added.
Mendoza said, “The city should be proud. If someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest in Maple Grove, there is a good chance that the first links of the American Heart Association’s Chain of Survival will be initiated: 911, CPR and AED. These need to occur in the first 2 minutes of the event, for the best chance of survival. The Maple Grove community is good position to save a persons life. There are many communities that are not.”
He continued, “I’m proud of Maple Grove. They are set up to succeed and I hope the city continues to improve their program.”