Heart Safe Communities cities

Buffalo, Minnesota

Buffalo Hospital, the Buffalo Hospital Fund and Allina Health Emergency Medical Services have partnered with scores of schools, civic organizations, area businesses and places of worship to educate thousands of citizens about sudden cardiac arrest and how to use an AED. Over 400 AEDs have been placed throughout Wright County. 

The Buffalo Hospital Fund has established a Heart Safe Fund for Wright County to support placement and upgrade of AEDs in the area.  To make a donation, mail to:

Buffalo Hospital Fund, 303 Catlin St., Buffalo, MN 55313

You can also call 763-684-7025.

Elk River, Minnesota

Steve Ditbenner, director of Elk River Ambulance, is the driving force behind the success of Elk River's Heart Safe Communities program. Ditbenner launched the program by hosting a press conference to highlight the donation of an automated external defibrillator (AED) by the Mercy & Unity Hospitals Funds.

A resulting article in the local paper encouraged community donations for the purchase of additional AEDs. Within two weeks, Ditbenner received enough money to purchase 12 AEDs.

Elk River's Heart Safe Communities program has three phases:

  1. placing AEDs public schools, the library, ice arena, city hall and fire department.
  2. AED placement in local businesses.
  3. offering grants to non-profit groups such as houses of worship and private schools.

On December 30, 2002, two months after completion of Phase I, Ditbenner's father suffered sudden cardiac arrest in a restaurant in Excelsior, Minnesota. An AED saved his life.

New Brighton, Minnesota

In 2009, the City of New Brighton became the first Minnesota city to earn Heart Safe Community designation. It recognizes the city's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond.

In addition to equipping city vehicles with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and training city staff in CPR, New Brighton has made CPR and AED training available to its citizens.

Any municipality, county or organization in Minnesota can apply for Heart Safe designation. In addition to New Brighton, these Minnesota communities also are Heart Safe:

  • Apple Valley
  • New Ulm
  • Lakeville

Owatonna, Minnesota

Owatonna Hospital and Allina Health are placing automatic external defibrillators (AED) in public facilities like schools, senior centers, libraries, and government buildings, as well as to provide training to help community members respond to sudden cardiac arrest. With a gift of at least $1,100, the organization will be recognized with a plaque next to the AED storage cabinet. The purchase of each AED package includes training in use of the device, as well as a wall mount cabinet, a site assessment, medical prescription and oversight of the program.

To make a donation to support defibrillators in your community, specify which community and/or location you are supporting and mail your donation to: Owatonna Hospital Fund, 2250 NW 26th Street, Owatonna, MN 55060 or call 507-977-2562.