Local YMCA Receives Lifesaving Donation of Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

July 2, 2015
Cedar Rapids, IA – June 23, 2015 – Think Safe andHeartSine presented the YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area with a donated AED on Tuesday, June 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Helen G.Nassif YMCA.Five months after staff at the Helen G. Nassif YMCA saved the life of a local school teacher using an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), the YMCA was awarded a second AED from HeartSine, the device manufacturer. Valued at $1595, the AED will be located in the Welcome Desk at the request of the man whose life was saved after experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest while using the YMCA’s indoor track.On January 20, 2015, staff members performed lifesaving measures to the member after he went down on the track. They grabbed the AED and another staff member who was working out at the time, cleared the area and later brought the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to the site of the emergency. Two YMCA members who are health care professionals witnessed the event and joined in the lifesaving effort until an ambulance arrived. The patient survived and as a result, HeartSine, the AED manufacturer, awarded an AED to an organization chosen by the survivor. He chose to have it donated to the Helen G. Nassif  YMCA so the facility has an AED on each level.

Think Safe is the local distributor who sold the AED to Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA. The donation is made possible by HeartSine, the AED manufacturer, through their Forward Hearts AED donation program. On behalf of survivors who’ve benefited from their AED products, HeartSine awards an AED to the organization of the survivor’s choice. Think Safe President, Paula Wickham said, “This is the way things should work. The Pay It Forward Program allows recognition of a life-saving event and enables others to share their story and life-saving victory over the disease that is the nation’s leading killer. Another life may be saved in the future, in the pool area, due to Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA doing the right thing for their members. Our congratulations go out to HeartSine and Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA for another valuable life saved!”


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New Program Offers Life-saving AED Devices to Local Non-profits

November 14, 2014

Mercy Medical Center, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa presented an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library on October 9, 2014. The device will be in a readily-accessible location on the library’s second floor, to be used in case of an emergency.

The AED donation is part of a new program at Mercy designed to equip local non-profits that demonstrate financial need with the life-saving devices.  The non-profits must also exhibit a need for AED coverage for their facility and participate in an application process.

Mercy is partnering with Cedar Rapids company, Think Safe to make the AEDs available for donation.  Mercy will provide the AEDs, related supplies and AED education to qualifying non-profit organizations while Think Safe will provide follow-up maintenance and education.

As part of this new program, Mercy will present an AED to Taylor Elementary School in Cedar Rapids later this month.

(Excerpts from Mercy Vitals, October 24, 2014 issue.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**As part of this program, Mercy Medical Center and Think Safe also presented an AED to Taylor Elementary School in Cedar Rapids later in October.

For more information about AEDs and purchasing options, please complete the following form, and we will promptly contact you!


New AEDs installed in NE Iowa Community

June 8, 2014
The Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation gifted defibrillators to many local law enforcement officials last week following the successful community direct mail fund drive held last fall.  Each Allamakee County deputy as well as the Monona Police Department received a defibrillator for their vehicle to ensure CPR and defibrillation is quickly accessible in all sections of the Veterans Memorial Hospital service area.  Pictured, in front middle receiving the defibrillators are Brian Berger of the Monona Police Department; Clark Mellick, Allamakee County Sheriff, and Barry Olson, Allamakee County Deputy.  Also pictured, left to right are Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation members Amy Cote’-Hill, Lori Bahr-Stevenson, Nona Sawyer, Craig Lensing, Gloria Krambeer, Wayne Burke, Jeff Mitchell, EMT-P, EMS Supervisor, Veterans Memorial Hospital, Jackie Halverson, Nancy Schoh, Jane Dietrich, Paula Kerndt Wickham, President of First Voice who supplied the defibrillators, and Dennis Lyons also of the Foundation.

The Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation gifted defibrillators to many local law enforcement officials last week following the successful community direct mail fund drive held last fall. Each Allamakee County deputy as well as the Monona Police Department received a defibrillator for their vehicle to ensure CPR and defibrillation is quickly accessible in all sections of the Veterans Memorial Hospital service area. Pictured, in front middle receiving the defibrillators are Brian Berger of the Monona Police Department; Clark Mellick, Allamakee County Sheriff, and Barry Olson, Allamakee County Deputy. Also pictured, left to right are Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation members Amy Cote’-Hill, Lori Bahr-Stevenson, Nona Sawyer, Craig Lensing, Gloria Krambeer, Wayne Burke, Jeff Mitchell, EMT-P, EMS Supervisor, Veterans Memorial Hospital, Jackie Halverson, Nancy Schoh, Jane Dietrich, Paula Kerndt Wickham, President of First Voice who supplied the defibrillators, and Dennis Lyons also of the Foundation.

Waukon, IA-May 13, 2014- The community of Waukon, Iowa and surrounding areas are now equipped with new lifesaving devices. Philips Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) were installed in various locations throughout the community and to local law enforcement and public safety officials, thanks to the direct mail fund drive held by the Veterans Memorial Health Care Foundation last fall. This drive successfully brought in over $25,000 in funds from Allamakee and Northern Clayton County communities. These new defibrillators are located in each city police department in the Veterans Memorial Hospital coverage area, all Allamakee County Sheriff’s vehicles, and the ER of Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon as well as several other locations that were noted as high risk areas in need of the devices.

These defibrillators are part of the new Community Cardiac Arrest Specialty Team (CCAST), which was initiated in the community 2 years ago. This team responds to every cardiac arrest reported in the area. The team brings all equipment and performs any initial care needed at the scene instead of waiting until the victim arrives at the hospital, which makes a big difference in rural areas like these. Communities that implement teams like CCAST raise survival rates from 3% to 25%. This team’s survival rate since beginning has been an astounding 75%, proving how beneficial these teams are in communities.

The new equipment deployments were celebrated May 13, 2014, at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, with the AED recipients including: Brian Berger of Monona Police Department; Clark Mellick – Allamakee County Sheriff; Barry Olson – Allamakee County Deputy; staff of Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH); VMH Foundation staff and Board members; and Jeff Mitchell, VMH EMS Chief.

AED devices are a critical component in increasing survival rates among sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims. SCA is the leading killer in the United States and claims over 300,000 lives annually in the United States alone; more people every year are killed by SCA than by cancer and strokes combined. The key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA. The statistics show that for every minute that passes there is a 10% decreased chance of survival. AEDs allow for defibrillation during the initial minutes after 9-1-1 EMS has been called, those critical early minutes make all the difference between life and death during SCA events.

The Philips AEDs were sourced from a well-established industry integrator and wholesaler, Think Safe. Think Safe has been providing life saving equipment and training for over 10 years, all over the world, and is headquartered in the Cedar Rapids metro area. Think Safe is an innovator in the first aid industry and holds various proprietary patents as a manufacturer of First Voice first aid hardware and software products.

Think Safe has seen the value of implementing AEDs and the lives that can be saved by them. New lifesaving stories can be regularly viewed on their website or Think Safe Blog. Think Safe is dedicated to the fight against SCA and gladly offers AED grants or contributing donations to help offset the costs of lifesaving devices.

Michelle (Kerndt) Scroggs, Paula (Kerndt) Wickham, Jennifer (Snitker) Mittan

Michelle (Kerndt) Scroggs, Paula (Kerndt) Wickham, Jennifer (Snitker) Mittan

Think Safe President and Owner, Paula Kerndt Wickham, is originally from Waukon, Iowa, and attended the event in her hometown. Also in attendance were Michelle Kerndt Scroggs and Jennifer Snitker Mittan, whom are also from Waukon, Iowa and key Think Safe employees at the Cedar Rapids headquarters. “It makes us proud to be providing some of our Think Safe services and software or other products to our hometown area. Congratulations to the local community for stepping up and funding this lifesaving initiative and making it a priority. Not all communities have funded these types of initiatives yet and so we are very proud of our hometown community for their success with this project. While Think Safe manages over 10,000 devices nationally, we want local Waukon family and community members know we were pleased to provide product, services and ongoing servicing for this particular project.”

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, causing blood to stop flowing to the brain and other vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.CPR alone will not restart the heart, so the American Heart Association recommends CPR combined with early defibrillation (within three to five minutes) for the best outcome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SCA claims more than 300,000 lives annually in the U.S. alone. It occurs abruptly and without warning, with 84 percent of SCA events occurring outside of the healthcare setting.

 About Think Safe, Inc.

Think Safe, Inc. is committed to bringing technology into the field of emergency readiness and response. Think Safe provides products and services that improve access to first aid and emergency training and improve emergency response outcomes. Think Safe is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. To learn more about Think Safe and its products or services, please visit www.firstvoice.us or follow Think Safe at Facebook, Twitter, and their Blog.

 

For more information on SCA, AEDs, or our grant program fill out the form below.

 

 


Starry Elementary receives lifesaving donation of Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

May 1, 2014

Marion, IA- April 29, 2014- The students of Starry Elementary School in Marion, Iowa are celebrating the addition of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device to their school. This addition was made possible from a donation made by the children of Jean Ross, a former nurse and friend of the Marion Independent School District.

Jean Ross during her nursing years at Marion Independent School District

Jean Ross during her nursing years at Marion Independent School District

Ross attended the event with her husband, George, and children, Patricia (Karl) Knutson, Nancy (Donald) Christensen, and David (Cheryl) Ross. Not able to attend the celebration was another son, Lachlan (Mary) Ross from North Carolina. The AED funding was provided by the family of Ross to celebrate Ross’s dedication and commitment to children. Starry Elementary has placed a special plaque to honor Ross next to the AED storage cabinet. Ross provided a simple yet appropriate statement during the event, “School is about the kids and it is great the Ross family can do something to help these kids [at Starry Elementary].”

AED devices are a critical component in increasing survival rates among sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims. SCA is the leading killer in the United States and does not discriminate based on age. An estimated 5,000-7,000 students under the age of 21 die as a result of SCA every year in the United States. Most of these students never had prior symptoms and were unaware of any heart-related medical condition that may have resulted in SCA. SCA annually claims over 300,000 lives alone in the United States; more people every year are killed by SCA than by cancer and strokes combined. The key to fighting SCA is defibrillation (use of an AED) within a very short period of time from the onset of SCA. The statistics show that for every minute that passes there is a 10% decreased chance of survival. AEDs allow for defibrillation during the initial minutes after 9-1-1 EMS has been called, those critical early minutes make all the difference between life and death during SCA events.

Nancy Alderdyce, Head Nurse for Marion Independent School District has been extremely proactive in preparing the schools for SCA emergencies. Each building in the Marion school district is now equipped with an AED device due to the hard work and diligence of Alderdyce, and several other key people. In addition, staff training for the AED devices are handling lifesaving events remains a focal point for Nancy and the school district. These devices are especially important in the Marion Independent School District because they have certain at-risk students that may have more need for an AED due to diagnosed heart conditions. Usually students that die from SCA have not been pre-diagnosed and suddenly collapse and die. The AED also helps to offset the risk of death from a student not being diagnosed in the past with any heart condition.

The device Starry Elementary is receiving is a Heartsine Samaritan 350P AED. This AED is part of a pay-it-forward program called “Forward Hearts Program”, where any person saved or responder who saves an SCA victim with a Heartsine AED gets to donate a Heartsine Samaritan AED to the organization of their choice.

The Heartsine AED was sourced from a well-established industry integrator and wholesaler, Think Safe. Think Safe has been providing life saving equipment and training for over 10 years, all over the world, and is headquartered in the Cedar Rapids metro area. Think Safe Inc. is an innovator in the first aid industry and holds various proprietary patents as a manufacturer of First Voice first aid hardware and software products.

 

Nancy Alderdyce installing the AED with Jean and George Ross at Starry Elementary

Nancy Alderdyce installing the AED with Jean and George Ross at Starry Elementary

Think Safe has seen the value of implementing AEDs and the lives that can be saved by them. New lifesaving stories can be regularly viewed on their website or Think Safe Blog. Think Safe is dedicated to the fight against SCA and gladly offers AED grants or contributing donations to help offset the costs of lifesaving devices. “Every school, like Starry Elementary, should have or should make plans on how to purchase an AED. It is a rewarding experience when a survivor gets to tell their story and pay-it-forward and is certainly a better outcome than being one of the 300,000 victims. The family of Jean Ross should feel really good about what they have contributed to this school in honor of their mother; this gift will keep giving for decades into the future,” states Think Safe President, Paula Wickham.

Jean Ross, her family, and members of Marion School District staff posing with their new AED

Jean Ross, her family, and members of Marion School District staff posing with their new AED


School Mandates for AEDs Slowed by Economy

December 14, 2010

I recently read this article:  http://www.northjersey.com/news/health/111835889_Defibrillator_bill_stalled_over_funds.html

There are several very good points made in this article.

Of note is that these lifesaving devices can be purchased for $1000 or under and AED packages (cabinet, etc) are $1000 to $1500.  And, companies and facilities should want to purchase and maintain the devices under their own lead, not based upon being MANDATED to buy.

I know of several MANDATED customers (schools, fitness clubs, gyms, etc) where they – without hand holding and an easy database solution that is inexpensive – DID NOT hold up their end of the bargain historically due to the absence of an AED program Champion.    Pads expire, Batteries expire, devices go unchecked and management is crossing their fingers [and toes] that the device works when it is needed at their location (if it is even remembered to be used).

The key is that these devices save lives, they should not be mandated, they should be affordable and easy to maintain.  THEY SAVE LIVES and let’s not forget that Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the biggest killer annually in the U.S.

How can you fund an AED?  There are grants – email us for a copy of “THE FOUNDATION OF FUNDING AEDS” – FREE, COMPLIMENTARY and no strings attached!

EMAIL:   grants@think-safe.com (subject – COPY OF FOUNDATION OF FUNDING AEDS)

How can you make sure the AED is constantly in compliance and checked regularly for under $25 – 50/yr at your location?  Check out the following link; then contact us at 888-473-1777 or complete the form below and we will be happy to get in touch with you!

http://www.firstvoice.us/Products/FirstVoiceAEDProgramManager/tabid/727/Default.aspx

It seems that the answer to placing the devices are not mandates but rather, proper funding and program solutions for the long term!   We can always be reached at  as well at the contact info below, and we are happy to give you our technical insights into accessible funding sources and cost reductions, where applicable!

Making Minutes Matter

Think Safe Blog /grants@think-safe.com (888.473.1777)


One Mom’s Story….

August 25, 2010
In May Think Safe received the following letter requesting assistance from a mom….. This is being reprinted with the permission of this mother in an effort to help others understand that Sudden Cardiac Arrest does affect children in the U.S. as well as adults.
Hello my name is Corinne Ruiz.

Olivia Ruiz’ Last School Picture


April 22, 2004, my 14 year old daughter Olivia died from sudden cardiac arrest.  Olivia was on life support for ten days. After ten days, we were told that Olivia had no brain activity. We were left with a very painful decision to remove our daughter from the breathing machine.

April 22nd, it was six years since the death of my daughter. Not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself, “If only I had known about Long QT Syndrome/Sudden Cardiac Arrest and AEDs”. Maybe, just maybe Olivia would be alive today.

I and many other families who have lost children to Sudden Cardiac Arrest are now their voice. We are dedicated to protecting our youth from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and preventable Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). Unfortunately, where I live, xxx, very little is known about SCA in our youth.  I was quite surprised to find out that Olivia’s High School, xxx, didn’t have an AED on campus.

It’s time to make a difference, speak out, with the hope of saving others.  I plan on promoting SCA awareness in my community.  I have written letters to our community leaders to see if they have implemented community Public Access Defibrillation programs. I have contacted my local state representative, senators regarding the Josh Miller Hearts Act, which would provide a pool of grant money for school districts to use to purchase AED’s. If this passes, it would make mandating AED’s in [state xx] easier because it would offset a large portion of the start-up costs. I have written letters to our senators on behalf of the American Hearth Association supporting SB 1281.

I am a mom who is now left with:
  • If only I had known that I had options..
  • If only I had been told that there are screening tests or preventative treatments..
  • If only I had known that my daughter looked normal but her heart wasn’t..
  • If only I had known that an AED could give my daughter another chance..
  • …then maybe I wouldn’t have lost my Olivia..

I hope after reading my story, you will find it in your heart to donate an AED to XX High School, in memory of my daughter, Olivia. I am not a politician nor am I an expert in the medical field, I am Olivia’s mom.  A mom who will not let her daughter’s death be in vain.

Thanking you in advance for your support.

Since that date, Corrine has been crucial in placing an AED at this school and is crucial in helping to place others in the surrounding area. Think Safe is proud to be of assistance in making this happen as well. We can provide funding solutions!

Each year 10,000 to 15,000 or more children die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, just like Olivia – due to a fatal accident or undiagnosed medical condition.

For educational materials on SCA, grant or fund raising assistance or special school packages please contact the technical experts at Think Safe, 888-473-1777 or complete the form below.  Let’s make schools an even safer place for our children!


Why do we need AEDs in camps or at schools?

June 17, 2010

June 2010

What is the scoop on AEDs and Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

We are talking about the nation’s leading killer; killing more people than strokes, AIDS and breast cancer in the US annually.  Each year, between 300,000 and 400,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) outside of a hospital.

About 10,000 to 20,000 are children!  SCA affects people of all ages!

On average in the U.S., just 6.4% of SCA victims survive. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) take chances of survival to over 65%. In fact, early defibrillation (within 2-4 minutes ideally) with CPR is the only way to restore the SCA victim’s heart rhythm to normal. For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by around 10%. However, there are not enough AEDs to provide this life-saving treatment, resulting in lost opportunities to save more lives. Tragically, per a NIH study in 2007, 64% of Americans have never even seen an AED. AED PROGRAMS CAN AND DO IMPROVE SURVIVAL RATES. Communities with comprehensive AED programs that include training of anticipated rescuers in both CPR and AED use have achieved survival rates of 65 percent or higher.

How does this affect camps?  [American Camping Association**]

Illinois in 2009 passed an AED law for “recreational areas” that includes sports fields or recreational areas, affecting schools and camps.  Also, organizations that are involved in camping – such as the YMCAs, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts have been placing AEDs in an increasing number of facilities and camps. This is setting an expectation to provide care amongst the population and camp attendees.  With AEDs becoming more readily available, the potential exists for increased litigation from not having an AED on premises if there is a SCA event at the camp facilities. With AED prices dropping, more products to choose from, and the possible consequences of living in our litigious society, the time for a camp to purchase an AED is now. This is especially true of those camps in remote areas where medical response is delayed.

Why should I be a champion for AEDs?   Can’t we just call 911?

The national average for EMS response in the US is 8-10 minutes.  It is recommended (for best chances of survival) AEDs be used early on and ideally within 2-4 minutes.  There is a very good chance emergency medical services (EMS) cannot respond fast enough to save someone in cardiac arrest, particularly in congested urban areas, high-rise buildings, in remote rural areas, or large facilities.

What constitutes gross negligence isn’t spelled out in the law. Per product liability attorneys specializing in AED case law, organizations that have heavy traffic are more at risk if they fail to comply with “standards to provide care” and don’t have an AED at all.  Any manager or camp director at any large or high traffic facility should consider ramifications of not having at least one on premises in the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).  It is most likely their own job they are putting on the line and they should argue hard for them.  As a value-add for those directors whom can’t get top down management on board and funding is an obstacle; they should get hard copy evidence on file from their management if they can not get approval for purchase.  The old “CYA” policy!

** [Special note:  in January 2010 American Camping Association put the following revised accreditation standard into place for all camps except non-medical religious camps (camps where participants by religion do not allow modern medical intervention or treatment such as the Christian Science Church). Standard HW-17 now states: Does the camp have access to an AED (automated external defibrillator) available to the majority

Camp Responder Bag with AED

of the camp population, within the timeframe recommended by authoritative sources, and managed by trained personnel? The AED may be located on the camp property or available through another provider. ]

Think Safe can help your organization with AED funding and placement assistance.

Complete the form below to have a representative from our  AED GRANT DEPARTMENT contact you.  We are here to help you and to provide you more information and best pricing or match funding for your AED purchase needs.