The City of Coon Rapids is a Heart Safe Community thanks to the work of several volunteers with the Heart Safe Coon Rapids Program. The city was the first in Anoka County to receive this designation and has now helped to spread the training and techniques to other cities in Anoka County and even around the world in Worchester, England.
The Heart Safe Coon Rapids program has two main goals:
to ensure that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easily accessible in the community;
to make sure the public is educated and trained to not only recognize the signs of sudden cardiac arrest, but also in the use of hands –only CPR and AEDs.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, sudden cardiac arrest is the second-leading cause of death in Minnesota, responsible for almost 20% of deaths. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and almost always it's fatal. The Heart Safe Communities initiative is working to change those statistics.
The Heart Safe Coon Rapids program has already trained over 20,000 people in Coon Rapids in CPR and AED use. Over 60 businesses have participated in the training and the program has identified over 170 AEDs in public areas of the community. Program organizers say even though the city has received its official designation, their desire to educate and train the community and secure more public access AEDs won't stop! Organizers want to train half of the Coon Rapids population in CPR and AED use (some 30,000 people!)
In Anoka County, over 30,000 people have been trained in these life-saving techniques!