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Heart Safe Communities | Heart safe community designation | Allina Health

For more about being Heart Safe, call call 651-241-4470
or e-mail

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. And it's almost always fatal.

That's why Allina Health launched Heart Safe Communities, an effort to prevent death from sudden cardiac arrest by placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) wherever people live, work and play.

Heart Safe Communities helps communities and organizations...

  • educate citizens about sudden cardiac arrest and improving heart health
  • raise money to place AEDs in the hands of emergency medical service, fire and police personnel, and to make AEDs available in businesses, schools and other public gathering places
  • train people how to use AEDs and perform CPR. AED/CPR Training

Heart Safe designation

Heart Safe designation recognizes a city's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond. Any municipality, county or organization in Minnesota or western Wisconsin can apply for Heart Safe designation. View Minnesota's Heart Safe designated communities.

Adobe Reader required to view 19-page heart safe communities application packetDownload our application packet.

Are you providing bystander CPR training?

Please add your training numbers here and help train 10 percent of Minnesotans:

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)

Charles Lick, MD, of Heart Safe Communities, holds an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the program he helped start.

What is an automated external defibrillator?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small portable electronic device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and tells the user to deliver a defibrillation shock only if it is needed.

Unlike defibrillators used by health care professionals, AEDs are designed to allow trained non-professionals to respond to medical emergencies like sudden cardiac arrest. The devices are programmed to analyze the heart's electrical function. Voice prompts and screen displays explain how to attach electrodes onto the victim, then instruct users to stay clear while the AED analyzes his or her heart rhythm. AED/CPR Training

How safe are AEDs?
Who can use an AED?
What is the legal liability of using an AED?

Source: American Heart Association; Darren Boser, Lance Stephenson, A Heart for the Community: Public Access Defibrillation and the HeartSave Awareness Program, Access Medical Incorporated 2003; United States Food and Drug Administration
Reviewed by: Charles Lick, MD, medical director, Allina Health Emergency Medical Services
First Published: 05/06/2004
Last Reviewed: 10/13/2010

Purchase an AED for your community or organization

For more about buying AEDs,
call 651-241-4470 or e-mail

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are safe and easy to use – even for the minimally trained person.

We are happy to help you purchase an for your business, community, facility or organization at a pace that is comfortable for you. Steps include:

  • site visit to discuss AED needs, demonstrate various brands of AEDs and identify best suited for your location and discuss Heart Safe program and training options
  • order placed for AED, cabinet and training needs
  • delivery of unit and cabinet in about two to three weeks
  • paperwork and contract reviewed, including a discussion regarding ongoing care and AED site coordinator
  • billing about one month after delivery.

The process for purchasing an AED from Heart Safe Communities may vary based on your needs. Some organizations spend a few days at each step; others spend a few months. Some groups combine several steps into one meeting; others take it one step at a time.

Heart Safe AED package
Heart Safe training packages available with AED purchase

AED Maintenance

The Atrus National AED Registry lets participating 911 agency dispatchers know where automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are located so they can be found and used quickly when needed. This free resource also makes it easy for organizations with AEDs to comply with AED notification and registration laws and better maintain AEDs. For more about the National AED Registration, go to

How do I register an AED?

Follow these instructions:

I just replaced my AED's electrodes or batteries. Do I need to update this on the National Registry?

Yes. Follow these instructions:

What if I am no longer the site manager for the AEDs?

The site manager's role can easily be transferred to any of the inspectors that are listed on your site.