June 22, 2022 at 7:33 p.m.

Lifesaving stations

Lifesaving stations
Lifesaving stations

By Ben Sonnek- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Vogel pitches outdoor AED cabinets to city council

The City of Sauk Centre is considering the option of adding outdoor defibrillator cabinets around town, a potentially lifesaving measure for the community.

On behalf of Advocates for Health, Joel Vogel from St. Joseph came to Sauk Centre City Hall June 15 for the Sauk Centre City Council’s regular meeting, bringing with him an Automated External Defibrillator Smart Monitored Cabinet and pitching the idea of installing the units around town. There are 481 AEDs in Stearns County, several of which are located in Sauk Centre, but many of them are in buildings that are locked during non-business hours.

Vogel himself had a heart attack and blacked out on Mother’s Day in 2004; he was fortunate, as only 5% of people who have blacked out after a heart attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest have survived. SCA claims an estimated 350,000 lives per year, but the SCA survivability rate climbs from 5% to 75% if an AED is used.

“We are saving lives,” Vogel said. “It’s really nice to get an email that says someone was saved. Last week, at a church in St. Joe, they’ve had four saves there with an AED because the people there know how to use it.”

An AED cabinet is a station with an LED-illuminated sign, along with two signs to be posted in the vicinity to point the way to the cabinet. When its door is opened, an audible alarm and red lights are triggered, and the cabinet triggers a 911 emergency response call.

The AED cabinet addresses issues related to temperature, user training and theft. The cabinets have heaters and cooling fans to manage Minnesota’s temperature extremes, and they also track the functionality of the AED components and batteries and send alerts when they need attention. The AEDs themselves incorporate audible instructions with a visible display so people of any language and literacy level can effectively use the device. To monitor usage and prevent thefts, the AED cabinet takes photo bursts when it is opened and again when the AED is removed, an Apple Air Tag is attached to the AED so it can be tracked via GPS. The AED’s sensors also prevent it from being used if applied to someone who is not experiencing a heart attack or SCA.

According to Vogel, the ideal situation for a city is that an AED device is within four minutes of anyone experiencing a heart attack or SCA, giving someone on scene enough time to get the device and return within 10 minutes.

An AED cabinet unit costs about $7,200; the first year of the monitoring system subscription is included in the price, although an additional $395 per year is needed to maintain the system. According to Vogel, the city would have to maintain the subscription costs while Advocates for Health would handle fundraising for the units themselves. The city would also need to provide an electrical hookup for the cabinet, which also has a rechargeable backup battery in the event of a power outage.

“I think you’ve sparked a lot of interest,” said Sauk Centre Mayor Warren Stone to Vogel. “I want to thank you for the presentation, and I’m sure eventually it’ll end up on the city council agenda as an action.”

In other council news:

– Approved a variance request from Centre Properties LLC, allowing them to build an addition at a 10-foot setback from their east property line instead of the required 25 feet.

– Approved a variance request from First Lutheran Church to change their sign to incorporate a dynamic display of 18 square feet where 9.6 square feet would be required by ordinance. The church can only do this with one display, and it should only show one image every six seconds and not be so bright that it interferes with traffic.

– Approved the appointment of Lori Arends to the Sauk Centre Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board. Arends’ residence is outside the city limits, but she has previously served on the Wabasso Economic and Development Authority Board before moving to Sauk Centre, and city ordinance allows the residency and voting eligibility requirements to be waived upon due consideration of the council in cases involving lack of interest of potential appointee availability.

– Approved a pay request of $781,727.26 to C&L Excavating for their work on the Second Street South stage of the 2022 capital improvement project.

– Approved a grant amendment to update the Sauk Centre Municipal Airport fuel system to be chip reader compliant. The Minnesota Department of Transportation updated the project quotes due to price increases since November 2021, so the revised project cost is $54,086.74, with the state’s share being $37,860.72 and the city’s share being $16,226.02. The council also approved MNDoT grants for maintenance and operation of the airport, $11,991.50 for the 2022 fiscal year and $23,983 for the 2023 fiscal year.

– Approved the lot splits and acquisition of 15 feet of a property southwest of the Eight Street South and Getty Street intersection; the right-of-way land will be bought at $2.90 per square foot for a total of $5,655. The seller will then be purchasing 32 feet from the north end of the adjacent property to the south.

– The council was notified of a 3.5% dues increase by the League of Minnesota Cities; they were also invited to join the Minnesota Association of Small Cities.

– Agreed by general consensus to send out for bids to repair Sauk Centre City Hall’s front steps.

– Approved a donation of $136.60 from the Men’s Card Playing Group for the Sauk Centre Senior Center.

The next city council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6 at Sauk Centre City Hall.


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