On Friday, November 3, 2023, Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) held its second AED Celebration in 2023 at the HFL Conference & Learning Center. Each year, HFL provides grants for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as part of its When Seconds Count: AED Initiative. The initiative helps ensure the La Porte County community has access to life-saving devices.
When Seconds Count: AED Initiative Partnerships
HFL works closely with La Porte County EMS through the AED Collective to educate the community on the importance of routine AED maintenance, AED registration, and CPR training. This work ensures our community has a safe, manageable, and efficient program to help people suffering a serious heart event have the best chance at survival.
HFL also partners with the City of La Porte Fire Department to provide free CPR and AED classes and Stryker, the medical technology and device company that provides the AEDs HFL purchases for grantees. HFL is grateful to these partners for their support as together we work toward our mission: empowering La Porte County residents to live healthy and well.
AED Grants Awarded
At the event, HFL awarded 27 AEDs, 21 cabinets, and signage to 15 grantees. The amount awarded totaled $57,491.10. Combined with the AED grants awarded in June, HFL awarded a total of 78 AEDs, cabinets, and signage to 38 organizations in 2023.
Since 2017, HFL has awarded 208 AEDs, cabinets, and appropriate signage to the community. HFL has also provided grants to the City of La Porte Fire Department to provide community CPR/AED classes. To date, HFL’s investment totals $484,889 in AED and CPR-related grants.
November 3 AED Celebration
Hosted by HFL, the AED Celebration welcomed the AED grantees to the HFL Conference & Learning Center to receive their AEDs; watch a live demonstration of AED usage and readiness checks; hear from Eric Fenstermaker, assistant administrator of La Porte County EMS; and connect with other AED grantees. Guests also heard from HFL Board Member Dr. Gary Wheeland on the importance of AEDs and quick responses to those suffering serious heart events as well as from La Porte Fire Chief Andy Snyder on CPR / AED classes the City of La Porte Fire Department offers free of charge to the community, thanks in part to grants from HFL.
HFL accepts grant requests for the When Seconds Count: AED Initiative once per year, starting on February 14. To be eligible, applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, a school, or a governmental entity. Requests for AED grants are only accepted through HFL’s grant portal, accessible via hflaporte.org/grant-opportunities.
Learn more about the AED Collective at laporteco.in.gov/departments-online/emergency-medical-services/aed and HFL’s When Seconds Count: AED Initiative at hflaporte.org/when-seconds-count-aed.
La Porte County AED Map
In addition to receiving their AEDs, cabinets, and signage, grantees were encouraged to register their AEDs with La Porte County EMS. This ensures that La Porte County EMS knows the location of AEDs in the county. Additionally, the team at EMS maintains a map with all the known AEDs in the county (see attached image). This map, while a work in progress, is an exciting visual representation of the growing presence of these live-saving devices in our community.
HFL President and CEO Maria Fruth said, “If you have an AED, please register it and get on the map! I always say the work we do takes a village, and we are so grateful to the work our partners do to ensure those experiencing a serious cardiac event have the best chance at survival. Thank you for doing your part and registering your AED.”
The link to register AEDs can be found at https://laporteco.in.gov/departments-online/emergency-medical-services/aed.
Becoming a HEARTSafe Community
At the celebration, HFL also announced that it has been working with community partners to achieve the HEARTSafe designation through the HEARTSafe Community program.
The HEARTSafe Community program is a set of criteria and guidelines designed to improve outcomes to sudden cardiac arrest emergencies through a specific set of training, preparation, and response protocols. The HEARTSafe designation recognizes a community’s efforts to prepare its citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond.
Our community is implementing a phased approach with Phase 1 focused on seeking designation for the City of La Porte. HFL is partnering with the City of La Porte Fire Department, La Porte County EMS, La Porte County E-911 Communications Center, Northwest Health – La Porte, and Play for Jake Foundation to become a HEARTSafe community. As the work continues toward the designation, updates will be shared.
2023 When Seconds Count Round 2 AED Recipients
The Barker Mansion
Cass Clinton Volunteer Fire Department
Holy Family Parish
La Porte Assembly of God
La Porte County Family YMCA
La Porte County Soil and Water Conservation District
LaPorte Futbol Club
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
New Prairie United School Corporation
Pleasant Township Fire Department
Queen of All Saints Church
St. John’s Lutheran Church
St. John’s Lutheran School
When Seconds Count: AED Initiative is one way HFL works toward advancing its mission: empowering La Porte County residents to live healthy and well. In total, since November 2017 HFL has invested more than $41 million in the La Porte County community.
For more information about HFL’s When Seconds Count: AED Initiative, call 219.326.2471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.