East Bethel ready to become a Heart Safe Community

East Bethel City Council members listened to and ultimately agreed with firefighter Troy Lachinski at their Nov. 19 meeting as he explained the plan for the city to officially become a HEARTSafe community as a way to save lives.

He said the concept addresses cardiac arrest and heart-attack response throughout the community with training and automatic external defibrillators in places where the public gathers.

“I feel really strongly that this is something we need to bring to the people,” Lachincksi said.

The first step toward earning certification is for a city to declare its intent to become a HEARTSafe community. Then East Bethel can begin to earn points as the Fire Department holds training sessions on CPR and AED usage. AEDs cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,000. The devices are designed to be easy to use, all work the same way and require no mouth-to-mouth contact.

Lachinski said he would be leading the effort to recruit volunteers and hold training sessions, as well as follow the example of a friend in Anoka who successfully implemented a program there with built-in fundraising components. He said the friend had been urging him to move East Bethel toward achieving the status, too.

The local firefighter read HEARTSafe survival stories in which immediate action kept people from dying. Lachinski explained how the program empowers bystanders to act quickly during those first, critical minutes a patient is affected.

The city will earn points by holding training sessions and acquiring more AEDs. Lachinski said there are grants available for the devices and that the Fire Department would not be requesting city money for the program.

He asked for the formal declaration so that the process can start, and the council agreed. He also said the department might ask to attach a page to city’s website containing information about the program.

In other action, the East Bethel City Council:

–Received the law enforcement report, which included officers making three DWI arrests; investigating the theft of three vehicles, two of which had the keys in them; dispersing a party with an estimated 300 people after two noise complaints from a mile away; and responding to a complaint about a young male exposing himself to a 60-year-old female.

–Accepted the draft of an Anoka Conservation District Comprehensive Master Plan for 2015-2019. The draft doesn’t cover specific projects in East Bethel but does outline things like best practices for resource management, conditions, soils, water quality, policies and general project priorities.

–Heard the fire report for October, a quiet month. The fire chief said people can do open burning with more than 3 inches of snow but must still obtain a permit to do it.

–Listened as Council Member Tim Harrington announced that there are openings on the Roads and Planning commissions.