Otter Tail County (Northwestern Minnesota) Chapter
The Otter Tail County Chapter works with the Midwest Survivors Network to implement defibrillators in schools, churches, police cruisers, and ambulances. Chapter leader Randy Fischer, who oversees the operations of ambulance service in the Otter Tail area, has long been involved with AED access programs and SCA awareness. He has also been a leader in the CPR/AED field, including the coordination of Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training for paramedics, paramedic students, physicians, and nurses.
Front Row, (L to R): Tim Hoffman, Bruce Atterberg, Gene Johnson, Garry Frankel, Jerry Griffin, Izzy Mastel. Back Row (L to R): Wayne Schneider, Art Stortrom, Larry Kimball, Tom Renville, Kevin Kent, Bruce Wizik, Ruth Nodsle, Al Bertke, Julia Werk, Dan Kerkvliet, Bill Timmerman, Bill Breth, Dr. Owen Thompson.
19 sudden cardiac arrest survivors attend banquet and “re-birthday” celebration in Fergus Falls
Long-term survival after sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is possible. Nineteen SCA survivors from across the region gathered to share their stories at the first annual Survivors Banquet and Re-birthday Celebration at the Bigwood Event Center on Saturday February 15, 2014.
The longest-term survivor in attendance was Dr. Owen Thompson, who suffered a SCA in 1991. “We owe the continued rising survival rate to increasing technology, but more importantly to EMT and ambulance companies willing to invest in having the new technology ready and available,” said Thompson. “We need to continue to get more and more AEDs (automated external defibrillator) into rural communities.”
Gene Johnson, President of the Minnesota SCA Survivors Network, originated the group ten years ago. “We had to scrape across the entire country ten years ago to find 42 SCA survivors. Today there are 22 in this room alone.” Nationally 15,000 to 20,000 people survive SCA each year, with the odds of surviving at seven percent. “Survival rates are improving dramatically,” Johnson continued. “But we have to keep pushing. As you can see long-term survival IS possible.”
“I’ve never felt better,” said Bruce Atterburg, SCA survivor from Battle Lake, MN. Atterburg went down while playing basketball at 7 am on March 4, 2011 at the Battle Lake high school gym. Fellow players Dr. Ted VanErp, Reverend Ed Borchert, and EMT Bryan Hodenfield recognized what was happening, applied CPR, and shocked him with an EAD. Ringdahl ambulance transported him to Fargo. “By 10:15 am I was sitting up in a hospital room with a new stent in my heart feeling like nothing ever happened,” said Adderburg. “The true heroes in this situation were the three guys who saved my life and the school for purchasing an EAD.”
On October 23, 2012 Dan Kerkvliet was on duty at the post office in Morris, MN. One of his co-workers called 911 and reported that an employee was choking. Officer Shane Nelsonof the Morris Police Department was at the Court House nearby and was the first to respond to the 911 call. He recognized upon entry that Kerkvliet was in cardiac arrest and ran to his squad care to retrieve an EAD. A single shock from the EAD restored pulse and respiration to Kerkvliet who has made a full recovery and is feeling great.
IzzyMastel from Jamestown, North Dakota experienced a SCA while watching a movie with his family on March 9, 2013. Quick thinking from his wife, who started CPR, and his son-in-law Ross, who called 911, contributed to saving his life. EMTs arrived on the scene within minutes and shocked him with an AED. Mastel came to and was told what was going on. Paramedic Juanita Gorder was on duty and rode in the transport to Bismarck. “We had to shock him three more times on the way to Bismarck,” said Gorder. “The weather was horrible, too, so it took longer than it normally would, but we made it.” Mastel was released from the hospital a week later and underwent heart surgery last fall. He reports feeling great now.
The recognition banquet, hosted by the Western Minnesota chapter of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, was organized by Randy Fischer, who also serves as the Operations Director of Ringdahl EMS and CEO of RWF Enterprises and Stevens County EMS in Morris, MN. “We have an opportunity to improve survival of SCA by engaging the public, business, healthcare organizations, and private advocates to stress the importance of early access to 911, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced life support care by EMS and local healthcare systems,” said Fischer.
Ringdahl EMS and Stevens County EMS in conjunction with the SCAA-Western MN Chapter, are providing a FREE Hands-Only CPR and AED classes at five of their locations in Minnesota and North Dakota as part of EMS Week 2012.
The ambulance companies are providing instructors, refreshments, and equipment to train the public in Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED. Their "How To Save A Life" program has trained over 5,000 people in the last four years.
We hope to train many more on Wednesday May 23, 2012 in: Fergus Falls, MN at Ringdahl Ambulance - 214 East Junius Ave.
Pelican Rapids, MN at Ringdahl Ambulance - 41 1st St SW
Morris, MN at Stevens County EMS - 209 S Hy 9.
Jamestown, ND at Jamestown Ambulance - 502 1st Ave S
Lisbon, ND at First Medic Ambulance - 1100 Oak Street
In addition, Ringdahl EMS and Stevens County EMS have donated a new Philips OnSite Automatic External Defibrillator and will give it away to a lucky participant at one of the class locations. To be eligible, you must LIKE US on facebook, attend the training on May 23, 2012 at one of the five locations, sign up at 7:00 PM for the drawing, and you MUST be present at 8:00 PM for the drawing to win. Even if you do not win the AED, you still win because you learned a life-saving skill and may just save someones life! Everyone should learn CPR and how to use an AED.
Does your ambulance or EMS agency want to participate in this event? Contact SCAA - Western MN Chapter for more information and our assistance in promoting your CPR and AED FREE training to the public.
STEVENS COUNTY AMBULANCE SERVICE TEACHES PEOPLE "HOW TO SAVE A LIFETM" Innovative 30-minute program designed to teach people CPR, increase AED awareness. In just 30 minutes you can learn what to do in the first critical minutes of an emergency that might save your life or that of a friend, co-worker or family member. Stevens County Ambulance and EMS Training in conjunction with the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association is offering our How To Save A LifeTM presentation free of charge to interested organizations, businesses and groups. To schedule the presentation for your organization contact Stevens County Ambulance & EMS Training at 320-589-7421 or call Josh at 320-241-3971. Stevens County Ambulance & EMS Training is also making $100 grants available to chamber members to assist with the purchase of an AED. Businesses and organizations that call during the month of May to schedule the How To Save a LifeTM presentation are eligible for this funding. So call today and learn how to save a life!
Otter Tail County Wants You!
The City of Elizabeth Fire Department, in conjunction with Ringdahl ambulance services in Fergus Falls and Pelican Rapids, are requesting funding through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) project. We would like you to send a letter of support for the project.
If funded we will engage in additional meetings to develop, implement, and choose the requested equipment for the agencies and develop training schedules. The grant request is entirely funded through private donations, grants, and cash which will require $0.00 from your local fire department, city, police department or first responder agency to participate in the grant.
Contact: Gary Wilde or Randy Fischer for more information if needed.
Letters of support - City of Elizabeth Fire Department AFG REGIONAL project grant application - EMS cardiac arrest survival project.
This regional grant includes agencies in western Otter Tail County and a portion of Wilken County around the Rothsay area. It includes 14 EMS agencies in Fergus Falls, Elizabeth, Rothsay, Pelican Rapids, Vergas, Dent, Underwood, Battle Lake, and the Otter Tail County sheriff's department.
The project intends to increase cardiac arrest survival rates through improved equipment, training, and development of standard consistent approaches across multiple emergency services.
Equipping Fire, Police, sheriff, and ambulance EMS responders with cardiac monitors, AEDs, cardiac response kits, mechanical compression units, and specific EMS training and approaches that have been successful at increasing survival rates of out of hospital cardiac arrests from less than seven percent to over 20 percent. The direct impact could be an additional 2.1 lives annually saved by implementation of this project in our identified region.
PLEASE send a letter TODAY supporting our Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) REGIONAL grant request, mail to:
CLICK HERE for a sample letter that you can simply place on your letterhead and include your name and edit as you like. Sign and send ASAP.
Letters can also be written on your own and sent to the following address:
RE: Elizabeth, MN Fire Department REGIONAL GRANT for EMS cardiac arrest survival project
R. David Paulison, Administrator
500 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20472
Fax: (202) 786-9938
214 E. Junius
P.O. Box 462
Fergus Falls, MN 56538
Phone: (218) 731-8216
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