Police acquire 10 defibrillators

LIFE-SAVERS — Sgt. Chad Sanow displays one of the Fairmont Police Department’s new automated external defibrillators, purchased with the aid of the Martin County Area Foundation. Foundation board members Beth Neist, left, and Tabitha Bicknase look on.

FAIRMONT — Sgt. Chad Sanow of the Fairmont Police Department is happy to report that the department recently received a grant from the Martin County Area Foundation for 10 automated external defibrillators.

Ordered from Lifeline Inc. in Savage, the AEDs all boast several features that will aid in saving lives. Four are occupying various locations around Fairmont.

Sanow, along with Foundation board members Beth Neist and Tabitha Bicknase, was able to display the new AEDs and explain how the grant came to be, and why it was such a help.

“We applied for the grant on May 8, 2017,” he said. “We were initially trying to get 10 AEDs and then, after I found out that we were going to be able to get them cheaper, we ended up with 14.

“Initially, it was going to be about $22,000 for 10 of them, and we were able to get them on a state bid for $1,350 a piece. After finding that out, I met with Mike Humpal at City Hall because he was talking about putting one at the [Southern Minnesota Educational Campus] building and then I asked him about some other locations. So we were able to buy four more, and that’s when we put them at City Hall, SMEC, the Liquor Store and the Aquatic Park.

“We also had to buy cabinets with them,” Sanow continued. “The cabinets have a little alarm on them, and also with them is a little aid kit. So, with everything, it was just over $19,327.

“It was in July when Beth [Neist] was able to get us $10,000 to help pay for this. The city, out of a couple of different budgets, will pay the $9,327 leftover. We were able to trade in our old ones, and for the ones that worked we were able to get $100 rebate for each, so we traded in eight of those.”

Sanow said the need is critical, as the department previously had only four or five working units. Now, all of the department’s AEDs are brand new, and come with a seven-year warranty as well other helpful features.

“The pads have a five-year shelf-life warranty, instead of two,” he noted. “Then, when we work with Gold Cross, these all will hook up to their new system so when they get on scene we can flip it over to their heart monitors.”

“The fact that it can co-exist with the ambulance stuff is just marvelous,” Neist said.

As for how frequently the units are in use, Sanow said it is difficult to say when one was used last, due to how often they are utilized.

“We had a dinner last year for the Martin County Area Foundation,” Bicknase said. “There we had a gentleman who came and spoke who was saved by one of the defibrillators.”

The units were ordered Dec. 20 and were put into service on Dec. 27.


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