Effort aims to keep hearts beating
A few months ago, Farmington resident Glen Anderson attended chamber of commerce function in Lakeville. He didn't realize one day, he might be able to save a life because of that event.
An investment representative for RoundBank in Farmington, Anderson likes to get around to different business gatherings to do a little networking. When he went to that particular function Anderson got to hear about a new program in Lakeville called Take Heart Minnesota.
It's an initiative to educate the public about sudden cardiac arrest, and how just about anyone can save a life by doing basic CPR.
"I thought that was pretty cool," Anderson said, "and then I thought that would be a great thing to bring to Farmington."
And so, he is. These days, there are several communities around the area that are starting similar SCA programs. Most of those programs have been initiated by someone in medical or life-saving fields. But Anderson is in neither. He's just a guy who realized he could help save lives and wants to spread the word about that.
He's chosen the name Farmington Heart Restart for the local program. Now, he's trying to build a base of people within the community to help spread the word.
Anderson's Heart Restart program involves two kinds of training. The basic training, called Anytime CPR, is provided through a kit. It's got a blow-up resuscitation manikin, plus a DVD that shows the basic skills. The Anytime CPR training takes about 22 minutes, and covers the core skills in CPR.
"You don't need a teacher, you don't need a trainer. You just have to put a DVD in," Anderson said.
It is not, however, certified CPR training, Anderson said. It's more meant to give people the basic knowledge on how to revive someone suffering SCA.
The second part of the Heart Restart program is to provide automatic external defibrillator training and placement in locations throughout the community.
But buying the Anytime CPR kits or the AEDs takes money. That's where Heart Restart needs to begin. Anderson's goal is to find organizations and businesses throughout Farmington who are willing to purchase the kits and AEDs, or to make donations to Heart Restart to make the life-saving units available at locations around the community.
It's kind of a big project. There are several businesses that already have AEDs in place, but there's no formal list for people to know where those AEDs can be found. So Anderson is hoping that, as the program comes together, a master list can be compiled.
Then, if Heart Restart can collect enough funding, he plans to spend the money on multiple Anytime CPR kits and AEDs, and make those pieces of equipment available for rental by a building or organization. Doing so would make the machines available for, say, a large family gathering or a business that wants to have the equipment available but has not purchased it. That way, if an emergency arises, the chances of survival for that individual could be increased.
Anderson is not alone in his charge. Lakeville and Apple Valley already have established versions of the program, and Dakota County is in the process of establishing a countywide program to connect all those among the cities.
Getting the word out about Heart Restart is a big job, so Anderson is starting to hold a series of open houses to educate the public on the program. The first open house will be 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 27 at Farmington City Hall.