by Dennis Dalman
An AED SaveStation was installed in mid-October right at Lions Community Park just across from Sartell City Hall.
The Sartell Lions Club contributed money to purchase the SaveStation, which is a device that holds an automatic external defibrillator, also known as an AED. Countless lives have been saved by the use of AEDs. All a person has to do is grab the small machine, press a button on it and a pre-programmed voice talks the person through the procedure after the machine’s pads are placed on the chest of someone suffering from cardiac arrest. The SaveStation AEDs function even in Minnesota’s severe winter weather.
Just recently, an AED saved the life of Mike Canfield, a St. Cloud man who has been a football referee for four decades. Canfield was refereeing a game in Kimball one day in October when he handed the football to a kicker and then instantly fell to the ground. Someone ran inside the school to get an AED. The machine shocked Canfield’s heart back to life, and he survived.
“It (AED) saved my life,” said Canfield during an interview on KSTP-TV. “You never really think about just how great a life is until you’re almost not here.”
Canfield, 71, said he is going to give up his refereeing to concentrate on his golf game.
Rich Feneis of Sartell was also featured in the KSTP story. He and Joel Vogel of St. Joseph have spearheaded a drive to get more SaveStations in Central Minnesota. So far there are 49 of them – several in St. Joseph with more to come and more of the SaveStations planned for Sartell. Richmond and Cold Spring are also planning for some, and Boy Scouts from those cities will help in letting people know where the Save- Stations are installed and how to use them.
Directional signs are also being installed at various places in the area – signs that point to where the nearest SaveStations are located.
“There’s a need for them everywhere,” said Feneis, who founded an organization dubbed Advocates for Health. Others instrumental in the SaveStation efforts are too numerous to mention but include CentraCare Health system, which gives generous grants for the AEDs; police departments and sheriff’s departments, with a big boost from Stearns County Sheriff Steve Soyka and many monetary contributors.