The entire city of Springfield, Missouri, is focused on reducing death from cardiac arrest – and they’re showing it by recognizing organizations that provide CPR training to employees and have at least one automatic external defibrillator (AED) on the premises.
The “50/50 Springfield LifeSave” initiative will also recognize organizations that have either 50 percent of their workforce or 50 employees trained in CPR and AED use.
The Springfield Fire Department and Police Department, both equipped with Powerheart® G3 AEDs, are leading the way.
“Cardiac Science is one of the companies we recommend to organizations that come to us,” says Beth Perkins, the AED Solutions program coordinator at Ozarks Technical Community College. “Springfield’s fire department and police department both use the Powerheart device.”
According to Springfield Fire Department data, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in Greene County. It can strike anyone, at any age — even otherwise healthy people who exhibit no signs of heart irregularities. Last year, Springfield achieved its ambitious goal of training 100 percent of the city’s nearly 2,000 employees in CPR and AED use.
One of those employees was Dale Moore, the Springfield-Green County Office of Emergency Management public information officer. In October, Moore’s recent training enabled him to help save a man’s life after a Missouri State University (MSU) football game. A relative of one the football players had collapsed in the bus parking lot. Moore became aware of the situation, and ran over to find the man unconscious and unresponsive. He and an MSU trainer began CPR and emergency personnel arrived with an AED and transported the victim to a nearby hospital.
Springfield LifeSave is a partnership which includes the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, Ozarks Technical Community College, Safety Council of the Ozarks, Mercy, and CoxHealth. The initiative’s goals are to train 45,000 people in compression-only CPR, double the number of AEDs in the community, and raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest.
Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, is one of the first area businesses to step up for the LifeSave challenge. Many of its facilities already have Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 AEDs on site.
AED Solutions coordinates the city’s AED program, including working with two local physicians who oversee the program and helping businesses that install AEDs get customized training and support. The new LifeSave program, launched in February 2014, will be evaluated next year, Perkins said.