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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 email

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 or organization'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 can apply for Heart Safe designation. View Minnesota's Heart Safe designated communities.

Adobe Reader required to view 21-page heart safe communities toolkit and application packetDownload the toolkit and 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)

from right to left are: Hutchinson Allina Health EMS Supervisor Pat Egan, Heart Safe Communities Supervisor Katie Tewalt and Hutchinson Fire Lieutenant Randy Abelson

The Hutchinson Fire Department was granted two AEDs through the generous donation made to Heart Safe by Allina employees.

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 email

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

AED Maintenance


The Minnesota AED Registry is a free AED maintenance tool that allows AED owners free online management of AEDs, AED battery and electrode expiration email reminders, notifications from manufacturer or government agencies and the ability to participate in the AED link system where available.


This maintenance book offers an overview of how to maintain your AED. Just find the picture of your AED and read the information that is specific to your AED.


This plan is a blue print for making your AED program successful. This document can be edited to fit your needs but provides a basic overview of where your AED is, what should be with your AED and who maintains your AED.

Check list

All AED manufacturers recommends a monthly check of your AED. This check list offers an easy way to reach those checks. Please refer to the AED maintenance book for information on how to check your AED for readiness.

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

Yes. Follow these instructions: