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Non-profit providing free lifesaving devices throughout Heartland

10 years ago, Schilling and other community members set a goal of providing 50 AED’s to the community within five years. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

With Joe Schilling's nearly 30 years as a first responder, he knows the need for automatic external defibrillators (AED).

"It's very important to not feel like you're powerless," Schilling said.

Schilling is the president of Nemo Heart Health Corporation, a non-profit organization providing free AEDs to businesses throughout northeast Missouri in hopes of saving a life.

"We had a person who actually had a cardiac arrest in a facility where they thought they were going to an ER and they went to the back-side of the hospital," Schilling said.

That person died.

"We shouldn't have that happen, especially in that facility, but everywhere," Schilling said.

Ten years ago, Schilling and other community members, set a goal of providing 50 AEDs to the community within five years.

"We did that in less than two," Schilling said.

Now, there are 150 of them throughout northeast Missouri, costing the organization $1,500 per device.

"We talk about fire and EMS being heroes, and policeman being heroes, but the real heroes are the citizens," Schilling said.

With Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports claiming one in every four deaths is from a heart attack, this Heart Health Month Schilling has one goal.

"Arming the citizens of northeast Missouri," Schilling said.

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