NEMO Heart Health celebrates the unveiling of its 50th automated external defibrillator, (AED).
The latest AED is located in the Truman State University Student Union Building. During the celebration, firefighter and AED Committee Chair Joe Schilling gave a demonstration on how to use the machine.
Dr. John Rickelman, NEMO Heart Health Medical Director, said an AED is used when someone is in cardiac arrest and needs major catastrophic intervention in order to save their life.
NEMO Heart Health has been working non-stop since 2009 to place 50 AEDs in the community before 2014; their celebration Thursday marked the accomplishment of that goal in just two and a half years.
"We didn't know what to expect initially," said Troy Mihalevich, NEMO Heart Health President.
"We didn't even have any funds. We just had an idea. To be standing here, 2.5 years later, and to have achieved that goal, I'd say fairly shocked by that...But not surprised I guess from the outpour from the community because this community typically does that."
The 50 AEDs have been placed in several local restaurants, businesses, schools, universities, and churches.
Mihalevich said the organization still has much to do in order to accomplish its mission of improving heart health in Northeast Missouri through prevention, awareness, education, and access.
He believes that AEDs should be required in every public place, like a fire extinguisher, and said there are still many public areas that do not have one. Since the installation of the 50 AEDs, local dispatchers have been made aware of where they're located, so that if someone is in cardiac arrest, the dispatcher can tell the person calling for help where the nearest AED is located. But, Mihalevich said that people need to understand that AEDs really need to be in a person's home, since 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur in the home.
NEMO Heart Health said they have five more AEDs that have been sponsored and will be unveiled shortly. The organization is still looking for people to sponsor the purchase of AEDs. They cost $1,500. If you are interested, you can contact Troy Mihalevich at the Adair County Ambulance District at (660) 665-0000.
Be sure to watch the video above to see how an AED functions.