Big city looks to Kirksville group for lifesaving advice

Word of a Kirksville organization's highly successful efforts to place lifesaving devices around town is apparently spreading.

A big-city group has contacted NEMO Heart health about starting a similar program to place automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, in public places around the community.

John McCallum, a corporate account specialist with the American Red Cross Division 7 in Kansas City, stated in an e-mail to NEMO Heart Health he believes the work the not-for-profit Kirksville corporation has done over the past couple of years is remarkable and he wants to mirror it.

"Our secretary, actually, got an e-mail from a gentleman in Kansas City, metro Kansas City,â?? said Troy Mihalevich, NEMO Heart Health president. â??They're wanting to start up a public access defibrillation program and use our program sort of as a model for how they would want to put together their program. That's interesting and always nice to be able to help a community, you know, sort of follow the same direction that we've followed."

Secretary Lisa Archer provided McCallum with NEMO Heart Healthâ??s strategic plan as well as a contract that the group puts in place with each AED.

NEMO Heart Health's primary goal was to place 50 AEDs around Kirksville within five years.

Much to its delight, the corporation instead reached that goal in just a little over two years.

"We couldn't have done it without the support of the community and the hard work by the entire NEMO Heart Health board and all of the different individuals and organizations that have contributed to that,â?? said Mihalevich. â??It's been a very good cause and very successful program." They are celebrating the milestone by inviting the community to a celebration next week as the group places its 50th AED in the Kirksville area.

The 50th one will be put up at Truman State University.

The celebration is set for 2 p.m. next Thursday, May 24, in the Alumni Room of the Student Union Building on the Truman campus.